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Students Protest Outside Bloomfield Hills Middle School Demanding Zero Tolerance Bullying Policy

BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) -- Dozens of students protested against racial bullying at Bloomfield Hills Middle School on Friday after two students were charged in an alleged incident on a school bus in March.

Phoenix Williams, 13, videotaped two students who were apparently using a racial slur against him while on the school bus.

"They ganged up on me and they bullied me just because of my ethnicity and the color of my skin," Williams said.

Williams said that he won't feel safe until those students are expelled. Protesters carried signs saying "Protest Bloomfield" and "Silence Is Acceptance" while asking for the district to implement a zero tolerance policy and more racial sensitivity training.

"There's always going to be people who don't like other people -- there's no way of controlling it, "Williams said. "But we can do our best not to have these types of incidents happen."

Natalie Perkins, a student a the middle school, was among the protesters on Friday.

"When someone feels afraid to come to school, we have to speak up, especially with other incidents happening," Perkins said, "I think it's just ignorance and people not being aware what they say matters, and that can really hurt people."

Rodman Jackson is helping Williams start the Rising Phoenix Foundation, which will aim to work with schools to prevent incidents like this from happening.

"We're going to be looking to institute change legally through bills and other legislature issues to try to get this resolved finally," Jackson said. "We don't think that there is an opportunity for everyone to have an even and level playing field primarily because some of the great things that they have on the books they do not enforce properly."

The students have been charged, respectively, with harassment and ethnic intimidation.


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