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Parents furious after girls are subjected to racist taunts at Illinois high school

Families furious after girls are subjected to racist taunts at Illinois high school
Families furious after girls are subjected to racist taunts at Illinois high school 03:14

MINOOKA, Ill. (CBS) -- A Grundy County judge has issued an emergency "stalking no contact" order against a high school student in Minooka for taunting two girls with racist attacks.

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported Tuesday, Minooka Community High School District #111 has faced allegations of tolerating racism in the classroom before.

Minooka Community High School sophomores Morgan and Grace, who asked us not to use their full names, said the issue happened on Nov. 1.

"We kept telling her to stop," Morgan said.

"I heard the sound of a whip, and I looked behind me," said Grace.

A classmate was using a phone app that makes a whipping sound - and was pointing it at the two students of color while hurling incredibly offensive, racist insults at them. One of the girls snapped a photo while pleading with the student to stop.

"And then she proceeded to tell me, like, 'Get away from me, you monkey,' in front like of the whole class," said Morgan.

"Sick, sick things," said Grace, "and it made me really uncomfortable."

The girls made reports to their school resource officer.

"At that time, I was not notified," said Grace's mom, Sherry Brown.

Brown said she eventually got an in-person meeting with administrators after they filed a police report, but they would not disclose if and how the student would be punished.

"She wants to be able to able to exist in her environment without being harassed, and without racial slurs being thrown at her," Brown said.

"For us, this is a nightmarish déjà vu," said Morgan's mom, TeSaxton Washington.

It is déjà vu because in 2021, Washington settled a lawsuit with the school district after another student threatened to "lynch" her son during class in 2019.

"It's obvious that nothing my son or I did moved them to try to make any positive changes for the future generations, and I'm not going to deal with that," Washington said.

The school district said they're not at liberty to share any records of student discipline about this case.

When asked if the 2020 lawsuit impacted the way the district handles these types of allegations, the superintendent said the district takes "all allegations of racial harassment seriously," and included a list of educational programs they offer.

Unsatisfied by the school's response, both families this week headed to Grundy County Court, where a judge reviewed the evidence and decided to grant an emergency "stalking no contact order" for both girls.

"We shouldn't feel like were in danger or we're being harassed, and we know the school can't do anything about it - or they don't want to anything about it," said Grace.

"I think they almost like didn't care, kind of," said Morgan. "Like they just wanted to like brush it off, and just like didn't do anything about it."

The girls and their families say they're speaking up for a reason.

"The school needs to change how they handle these incidences of racial hate among their students," said Brown.

"I'm angry. I'm extremely angry. But I'm angry because I thought that by doing what we did and putting ourselves out there, that it would help other families from having to go through this," said Washington, "and clearly, that wasn't the case."

The school district's full statement to CBS 2 is below.

CBS Inquiry Responses from Minooka Community High School by Adam Harrington on Scribd
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