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Parents of third graders concerned after students experience racism from peers

Posted: 9:24 AM, May 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-02 14:55:13Z

A group of third graders are targeting classmates because of the color of their skin according to parents in Leslie.

This group is a so-called club that is targeting minority students. Parents reached out to FOX 47 when they felt the school was not doing enough to solve the problem.

"Somewhere between infuriated and heartbroken," Michael Loveless said.

Michael Loveless is the father of a third-grader at Woodworth Elementary School. He says that he was made aware of the racist comments made by a group of classmates last week targeting at least two minority students. Soon, he said they escalated into threats, making him fear for his child's safety.

"The last incident he was saying that the KKK was coming for another mult-racial child," he said.

Superintendent Jeff Manthei says that the district is aware of the comments, but wouldn't necessarily call it a club.

"We did have potentially a student that made an inappropriate comment. The student has been dealt with by our policies," Manthei said.

Manthei also claims that the school is looking at other ways to make sure this behavior stops. He says he has been cooperative with the concerned parents, went to a meeting, and even spoke to the police department today about the issues.

"We're very proud of our district and whenever something like this occurs we feel like that its a little bit of a smudge or tarnish on us," Manthei said.

In addition, he says that the counselor has been present in those students' classroom. But for some parents, that's not enough. Loveless says the abuse is starting to take a toll on his son.

"He was pretty upset during our conversation last night, once he figured out what was going on, why it was going on. Its hard to believe that this day in age, my child is still suffering from ignorant comments and beliefs," Loveless said.

Leslie Schools have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying, and the superintendent says there is no reason for anyone to feel unsafe. Manthei also said he wants parents to know the district takes issues seriously, but they need time to solve them.