Tag: racial harrassment

Students Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott, 15, Win Settlement in Racist Bullying Lawsuit in Nevada

Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott thank students at Swope Middle School, who wrote them letters of support. (Screenshot via rgj.com)

by Clarissa Hamlin via newsone.com

Two students now have some relief after being bullied for months at their Nevada high school because of race.

Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott, who are 15-year-old sisters and freshman at Yerington High School in Yerington, have won a settlement in their federal lawsuit against Lyon County School District on Monday (June 25), the Reno Gazette Journal reported. Their case has pushed the school to re-examine how it deals with bullying and racist behaviors from students, and it is making changes to existing policies.

Tolliver and Marriott suffered through some of the worst taunts and bullying from their peers — actions that are known to have driven many students of color to consider or commit suicide. The young women were called slurs on social media and were targeted in an online photo of the son of a Lyon County sheriff’s deputy holding a gun with the caption, “the red neck god of all gods…we bout to go [racial slur] huntin” last October.

Yerington school officials didn’t do enough to help the teens, who were harassed for at least six months over the 2017-18 school year. While the school was supposed to be a welcoming safe space for them, it became a nightmarish hell.

Police weren’t involved in any investigation of the social media threats against the teens. Yerington Police Chief Darren Wagner told the Reno Gazette Journal last October that the threats were protected by free speech, and the family’s statements to police about the matter were shredded accidentally. However, what was called “free speech” was in fact hate speech.

Fast forward to now. Tolliver and Marriott, who filed the lawsuit in January, have renewed hope despite their horrible experience. “In the beginning, we didn’t realize how much of a change we have made, and by us being some of the many to stand up and let their voice be heard, [it] made me feel that we did change the way people judge and look at someone before they actually know them,” Marriott said.

The school district has agreed to consult the U.S. Department of Education’s racial harassment experts and pay for counseling for the teens. They will also pay a lump sum to the teens’ family and for all attorney fees, an amount totaling $160,000.

Jayla and Taylissa released the following statements:

I would like to thank everyone who had our back and listened when no one would, through this long painful experience. I learned that you should never let your voice be unheard even when people turn their backs and tell you to lower your voice. Racism is something I never thought I’d go through. Racism is also something many people have done nothing about, but I am proud to say that I am one of the few who stood up when my race was an issue to others. I will always look back on this tragedy knowing that it made me the strong African-American woman I am today! Racism is something that I knew went on through the world but for a long time I forgot it existed. I cannot dream about having so much hate for another group of people because of their skin color yet there are people all over the world who find people of color disgusting and repulsive because we are different but don’t realize how beautiful and unique we are because we are different. I hope that our story inspires others. Always remember no matter where you are from, what you look like, how different you talk, or how you walk we are all equal. Jayla Tolliver

I just wanted to start off saying my sister Jayla and I are so thankful. I would never in a million years believe we would have to go through what we did. For having you guys say that you are here for us and standing by our sides gave us so much hope that we could fight and overcome all the horrific behavior. In the beginning, we didn’t realize how much of a change we have made and by us being some of the many to stand up and let their voice be heard made me feel that we did change the way people judge and look at someone before they actually know them. But I want to say a BIG thank you to Swope Middle School for being some of the biggest supporters and some of the first to reach out to my sister and me. Taylissa Marriott

Source: https://newsone.com/3814608/black-students-racist-bullying-lawsuit-settlement-nevada/

ICU Nurse Ellen Harris, Who Received Racist Note and Picture of a Noose at Work, Awarded Over $3.8 Million in Damages

Nurse Ellen Harris (photo via theroot.com)

by Ashleigh Atwell via blavity.com

A jury awarded Ellen Harris, a nurse in Honolulu, Hawaii, over $3.8 million in damages after she claimed her employer ignored her reports of racial harassment, according to a press release from Harris’ lawyer.

Harris, who is black, worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at The Queen’s Medical Center from 2006 to 2011. During her time there, she reported a “potentially fatal event” involving another nurse who was allegedly harassing her.

When she told officials about the incident, her supervisor told her to write a statement; which she did. The day after she turned in her statement, she found a note in her work mailbox that read “LAZY *SS N*GGER B*TCH.”

Harris made another report and mentioned that the nurse who was harassing her was also acting “erratic,” and may have been under the influence. That nurse later resigned after the supervisor discovered she had been stealing “tremendous” amounts of fentanyl, a highly addictive narcotic. Harris’ supervisor and the hospital’s human resources director investigated the matter, and concluded that the note wasn’t threatening, but rather “a comment on Harris’ work ethic and communication skills.”

It took seven weeks for the investigators to interview two parties related to the note, and on Christmas Eve 2011, the night after the second person was interviewed, Harris found a picture of a noose taped to her locker. The incident was reported to Honolulu Police and investigated as terror threat.

Harris, who worked the night shift, requested a security escort to her car, additional security in the MICU, the results of any investigations and an apology. The HR department denied her security escort because the incidents didn’t occur in the parking lot.

She filed a lawsuit in 2013. Five years later, after a five week trial, Harris got her day in court. The jury declared that Harris was entitled to $630,000 in general damages and $3.2 million in punitive damages. Harris was happy with the decision and expressed that her safety, along with that of her patients, was important to her.

“I am so grateful to this jury for hearing my case and understood this is wrong.  No one should be degraded or threatened like this,” Harris said. “I was only trying to make sure my patients were safe and received critical care they needed.  After I found the noose on my locker, I did not think my patients or I were safe. Nurses depended on each other in the MICU. I was afraid something would happen to one of my patients or me after receiving this threat of violence.”

 

Source: https://blavity.com/nurse-that-received-note-reading-lazy-ss-ngger-picture-of-a-noose-awarded-over-38-million-in-damages?utm_content=bufferfc805&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Federal Court Awards Robert Smith $2.4M for Enduring Five Years of Racial, Sexual Harassment from Co-Workers

Rosebud Farms (photo via eurweb.com)
Rosebud Farms (photo via eurweb.com)

A Chicago federal court has awarded Robert Smith more than $2.4 million in damages for enduring five years of humiliating sexual and racial harassment at a South Side grocery store.

The Cook County Record stated that Rosebud Farm Stand was ordered to pay Smith more than $800,000 in compensatory damages and $1.6 million in punitive damages for racial and sexual harassment. Smith also named two supervisors, general manager Carlos Castaneda and assistant manager Rocky Mendoza, in the lawsuit. They were both ordered to pay damages.

Smith, who is African-American, worked as a butcher at the grocery store, claims he was subjected to abuse from his Latino co-workers. Smith said that his co-workers harassed him by grabbing his genitals, fondling his buttocks and simulating homoerotic acts.

However, the harassment was not only sexual. Smith’s attorney Joseph Longo, of Longo & Associates, said his co-workers also called him a “monkey” and told him to “go back to Africa.”

Smith filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2008, but the harassment turned violent. The Cook County Record said Smith alleged his co-workers made threatening gestures towards him and also vandalized his car. The harassment got so bad that Smith eventually quit.

Smith decided to file a lawsuit requesting unspecified damages in 2011.

Longo said other Black employees at the grocery store were also subject to harassment, but declined to come forward. He said victims of racial and sexual harassment have to report the incidents, so they can be addressed in a court of law.

“Unless people file a lawsuit or take action, harassers will continue to create a hostile working environment and harass,” Longo said in an emailed statement following the verdict. “We need more people like Mr. Smith to take a stand and fight for what is right. The jury agreed that what Rosebud did to Mr. Smith was wrong.”

Longo told The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that Smith’s employer failed to provide a safe work environment. Eight jurors agreed with Longo’s argument.

“I think the jury wanted to send a message,” Longo said. “When you go to work, you don’t surrender your body.”

article by Manny Otiko via atlanticblackstar.com

San Jose State College Expels Three Students Who Racially Harassed Black Freshman

San Jose State UniversitySAN JOSE — San Jose State has expelled three of the students charged with the racially-tinged bullying of a freshman and extended one other student’s suspension, requiring him to go to counseling and to remain on probation for the rest of his college career if he returns to school.

All four had been suspended pending final disciplinary action for allegedly subjecting then-17-year-old Donald Williams Jr. to repeated abuse, including wrestling him to the ground and fastening a bike lock around his neck, calling him racially derogatory names, locking him in his room and displaying a Confederate flag.

The university’s move comes after news surfaced in November that the freshman reported being tormented relentlessly for weeks. The revelation sparked community outrage, an internal investigation, an apology from the college president, criminal charges and the creation of a task force. All four suspects have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges.

African-American leaders were pleased to learn Friday that the university had taken stern disciplinary action. The expelled students are banned for life from enrolling in any California State University college, according to university documents and sources familiar with the investigation.

“It’s a no-brainer,” said LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge and city police watchdog who chaired the task force. “They have no business being enrolled at SJSU.”

Continue reading “San Jose State College Expels Three Students Who Racially Harassed Black Freshman”

Three Black Former Workers Win $200,000 From AA Foundries Inc. In Racial Harassment Judgment

A San Antonio company has been ordered to pay $200,000 to three black ex-workers who say they were racially harassed by derogatory comments and a noose at the office.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Thursday announced a federal jury’s punitive damages against AA Foundries Inc. The company makes components for water wells.

The EEOC says a company superintendent called adult African-American males “boys.” A noose was found at the workplace after several employees filed harassment charges. Authorities say the superintendent said the noose was “no big deal” and the workers were “too sensitive.”  The three men later left the company. The EEOC sued last year.

AA Foundries lawyer Stephen White says the company will appeal.