NYC Catholic School Allegedly Ignores Racist Bullying Against 11-Year-Old Black Girl

NYC Catholic School Allegedly Ignores Racist Bullying Against 11-Year-Old Black Girl

Rick Schindler

A former student is suing a Catholic school in New York City for allegedly allowing a racially discriminatory environment and then kicking out the child for reporting the alleged abuse.

Attorney Stewart Lee Karlin filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Our Lady Queen of Peace School on Staten Island and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York on behalf of the 11-year-old student, identified as “JV,” and her mother, “LV.”

The family is demanding a jury trial, compensation, reimbursement of tuition and the child’s re-enrollment in the school.

As the only black student in her class, JV was allegedly taunted by white classmates with racial slurs, jokes and pranks about her appearance and bullying, which allegedly escalated after her mother reported the matter to school administrators.

“It has [been] persistent bullying against [J.V.]. … This group of children … cried tirelessly [J.V.] ‘fat’ ‘stupid’ ‘ugly’ ‘n—–‘ mostly during lunch break, and spreading lies against them to get them in trouble,” LV complained in an October email to school officials, so the lawsuit. “[J.V.] came home in tears. This is simply not acceptable and I ask that it be addressed immediately [reoccurring].”

The complaint states that JV began her training with Our Lady Queen of Peace in September 2022. By October, she claims she was tormented on a daily basis by classmates who allegedly made fun of her hair and skin color, stole her belongings and attacked JV by tripping her or she pulled out her chair, hid her lunch because she was “too fat” and made monkey and elephant noises. Another student allegedly told JV that a group of parents exchanged messages calling her “fat and ugly and a black ghetto”.

In the lawsuit, LV alleges that neither JV’s teacher Janine D’Amico nor principal Margaret O’Connor have addressed the alleged abuse. So the mother took the matter to the regional superintendent of the Roman Catholic archdiocese, Zoilita Herrera.

“In retaliation for LV’s complaints of discrimination, on November 21, 2022, Principal O’Connor suddenly informed LV by telephone that JV was immediately exmatriculated from Our Lady Queen of Peace School,” the lawsuit reads.

According to the filing, the school administration alleged that JV submitted a false application during her enrollment with Our Lady Queen of Peace. They claimed she omitted that she was evaluated by the New York City Department of Education’s Special Education Committee, which provides learning resources for students with learning disabilities. However, LV said she never applied for a learning disability assessment for her daughter.

LV tried to speak to O’Connor after JV was expelled from school, according to the lawsuit, but was never able to get through to set up a conversation.

“This very serious situation, which endangered the well-being of JV, went completely and utterly unresponsive,” the lawsuit reads. “As a result of this bullying and discrimination, which the defendants have allowed to continue unabated, and the retaliatory de-registration, JV has suffered significant psychological damage.”

The lawsuit repeatedly notes how the ordeal “damaged” JV

Our Lady of Peace’s website states that the school specializes in “providing a Christian environment for students, staff and faculty alike that encourages both educational excellence and a spiritual formation of faith.” The school, which serves from kindergarten through eighth grade, encourages students to “take their place as leaders in a changing and challenging society.”

Representatives from JV, the Archdiocese of New York or Our Lady of Peace School immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Thursday.

NYC Catholic School Allegedly Ignores Racist Bullying Against 11-Year-Old Black Girl

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