‘Heritage but mostly hate’: Lawsuit alleges former Kearney student subject to abhorrent racial harassment

A lawsuit has been filed against the Kearney School District after alleged racial harassment.
A lawsuit has been filed against the Kearney School District after alleged racial harassment.(KCTV5)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 8:39 AM CDT
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A lawsuit filed against the Kearney School District detailed a Black minor’s alleged experience while being enrolled as a high school student, ultimately leading to his parents removing him from school.

The lawsuit stated that when the student was a freshman, he was:

  • told by white swimmers he needed to shave his hair short and dye it blonde
  • subjected to racial comments in a bullying fashion, such as a teammate telling him to “swim n— swim” during a swim competition
  • sent pictures by two white high school students posing with the Confederate flag during school hours, with messages such as “My n—? You dig me” and “Heritage but mostly hate brotha…”

The lawsuit detailed that the student, then a freshman, received threatening messages on Instagram such as “F— YOU, YOU C——G N—” and “THIS IS A WHITE TOWN N— BOY.”

Such incidents were reported to the swim coach, administrators and even the police.

In May 2019, two white female students taunted the teen during an algebra class and said “you won’t doing nothing about it, yes I sent it and if you do anything I will have all the whites in Kearney beat your ass,” the lawsuit alleged.

That incident was reported to the principal, who said to “ignore the white female student’s conduct because she was poorer than he was,” the lawsuit stated.

The harassment continued the following school year. The lawsuit noted that students would make monkey sounds around the individual during class and would not stop until he walked away.

The student who had taunted him in algebra class circulated a video of high school students chanting the N-word, the lawsuit stated. It brought him to tears, believing they were threatening him.

The teen received anonymous messages calling him “literal scum of the earth.” The messages continued: “I hope I see your black ass in tree. Alabama wind chime style.” The messages to Plaintiff K.W. continued: “I hope you and your monkey family gets jumped by all the whites in Kearney,” the lawsuit stated.

It was after those messages that the student’s parents pulled him from Kearney High School.

It is not the first time allegations of racial bullying or harassment have been made public at a school in Kearney. In 2019, a family detailed numerous instances of alleged racial harassment against their child.

The most recent Missouri State Department Elementary and Secondary Education numbers show Kearney’ school district enrollment as 91.5% white and 1.1% Black.