Tennessee School Settles with Family over Student’s Ethnic Harassment

February 8, 2010

Kingsport, Tennesee’s Board of Education has reached a settlement in a lawsuit that alleged a former high school student was harassed and threatened because of this Arab ethnicity.

Tim Whaley, a spokesman for the city, told The Kingsport Times News that the father of the student was paid a $30,000 settlement.

The former Kingsport family, who were only identified by initials, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greeneville in 2005 against the school board, the former principal and assistant principal of Dobyns-Bennett High School. The family sought $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The lawsuit claimed the student was harassed by other students who called him “terrorist” and threatened to kill him. The father also claimed the school created a racially charged environment, which was tolerated and condoned by school officials.

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