State: Gouverneur school district discriminated against Black student after attack

WWNY State: Gouverneur school district discriminated against Black student after attack

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Black 10 year old’s ordeal didn’t end after she was attacked on a Gouverneur school bus a year-and-a-half ago. That’s what a state agency alleges. It says the school district continued to discriminate against her.

Court documents show the Gouverneur Central School District remains under a legal cloud due to an alleged racist attack on a 10 year old Black student more than a year ago.

New York State’s Human Rights Division says the school district, its bus company and a bus monitor discriminated against the victim and that they aided and abetted one another in permitting her ordeal.

They allege school bus video tapes show that on a bus, the girl was punched, slammed against a window, and had clumps of her hair pulled out - all while racial epithets were being hurled at her.

There were two, maybe three attackers. This accords with a police affidavit filed just after the attack.

The human rights complaint also charges the school district with discriminating against the victim after the incident.

It alleges the school assigned the victim and her sister to a bus where they had to ride alone - in effect, a segregated bus.

The girl said she found threatening letters in her locker.

It alleges the school only complied with the mother’s request for homeschooling after the attack was reported two weeks later in the media.

And it alleges the school retaliated against the victim and her mother when they filed notice they might sue.

It was Governor Andrew Cuomo who ordered the Division of Human Rights to investigate.

This all came out this week in a lawsuit filed by First Student, the district’s school bus company. First Student wants the school to hand over video footage of the attack so it can defend itself against the human rights complaint.

7 News made repeated attempts to contact district Superintendent Lauren French Thursday, but we didn’t hear back.

We also contacted First Student’s lawyer. He said First Student has a policy of not commenting on active litigation.

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