The name of former first lady Laura Bush, wife of former President George W. Bush, has been embroiled in a racial bullying scandal out of Texas, though it has nothing to do with her personally.
Rather, the administration at Laura Bush Middle School in Lubbock, Texas is under fire for not doing enough to address allegations of race-based bullying of black students, according to local media outlet KLBK.
“Appalling and disgusting” allegations
The accusations recently came to light following the discovery of an Instagram account known as “LBMS Monkeys” that had posted photos and videos of black students at the school. That account has already been taken down.
There are also allegations that black students are routinely berated with various racial slurs as well as claims that some students had figured out how to make the sound of a whip cracking with their phones and were playing the sound in the vicinity of other black students.
Parents are outraged and asserted to media sources that little to nothing has been done by school authorities to address their concerns about the unacceptable behavior aimed at their children.
“It’s appalling and disgusting,” LBMS Principal Kyle Hendrix told KLBK of the alleged racist bullying. “That is not a reflection of my beliefs, Laura Bush Middle School’s beliefs, or Lubbock Cooper ISD’s beliefs. When any situation is brought to our attention, you know, immediately we go into an investigation, find out the facts, and apply the appropriate discipline when necessary.”
He noted that once the individual who created the offensive Instagram account is discovered, that person will face the maximum punishment allowed.
“Are we a perfect school or perfect district? No, nobody is,” Hendrix added. “We have to always evolve and address needs as they come. We love every child in this district. They’re here to get an education and we want to do everything we can to support that.”
Wasn’t a problem before, but appears to be a problem now
According to local media outlet KCBD, Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District Superintendent Keith Bryant said this was the first time he had ever heard of there being a substantial problem with racism in the eight years that he had been with the district.
“We work really hard to maintain a culture of inclusivity among all races. We’ve had some situations that have come up like that in the past, but they have never risen to my level,” Bryant explained. “Not one time has a parent approached me in my eight years saying there is a problem with a racial situation that’s out of hand. Not one time.”
That may be true, but there appears to be a problem now and parents are making it quite clear that they want the district and school leaders to put forth more of an effort to find and punish the perpetrators and make the school environment one where all students can feel safe and welcome, regardless of race.
To that point, local media KFMX posted an initial statement from Principal Hendrix that was sent to parents that denounced the “unacceptable” behavior and called on concerned parents to reach out to students and the school to help address and correct the situation.