An Indiana mom has says she has pulled her Black daughter out of a private school in Indianapolis after she alleged that students are bullying the teenager because of her race. They claim one of the acts of bigotry was daughter being sent a meme of a hand holding a stem of cotton bolls with a caption that read “when you ask a black girl to prom.”
Local station WISH TV interviewed the pair about their harassment claims and their decision to transfer Gabby Portis, a 15-year-old, from the International School of Indiana, a $22K-per-year language school.
Portis told the station that she’s heard the N-word used at the school and the racism she was experiencing made her look at herself, saying, “I just look in the mirror and be like, ‘I don’t see anything wrong with me.’”
Her mother, Brittany Graves, said that as soon as she was made aware of the incidents, she immediately went to the school’s administration.
She says that the school offered her daughter counseling and she declined, saying, “My daughter doesn’t need counseling.” She also claims the school suspended the offending students but when the suspensions ended the bullying intensified. Gabby claimed she started to receive text messages that made her concerned for her life.
When asked if she thinks that her peers would consider themselves racist, Portis said that they would. “They just walk around saying it proudly,” she affirmed.
She claimed an example of how casual the racism was between students emerged after one student asked Portis for money. A different student replied, “Why would you ask her for some money? She’s Black. Black people don’t have any money.’”
Now, mom has pulled Portis out of school for good, stating that she doesn’t want her child to break down mentally or hurt herself after the racialized bullying. Until the transfer is official, Graves asked the school to allow Gabby to finish out the year through its virtual learning model set up during the coronavirus pandemic.