Video claims racism at Northland middle school

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 19:33:25-04

Miguel Caraballo posted a video to Facebook on Friday that has been shared by hundreds and seen by thousands.

“The Park Hill School District is currently supporting discrimination and racism,” he said in the video. “My 12-year-old African-American and Mexican stepson Trevon has been suffering from racist remarks and physical abuse at Plaza Middle School.”

WATCH: Below is the original video from the Facebook post, which includes language that some may find offensive.

Caraballo said Trevon has faced more than one racist encounter since last fall stemming from one student. He said the most recent incident ended in a fight this month.

“He was called the N word, called a monkey, making monkey noises,” he said.

Caraballo said he turned to social media when talking with teachers and school district employees wasn’t working.

“I said, ‘Do not fail me,’ and then as we continued to talk, I said, 'You’re failing me and you’re failing him.'”

Assistant Superintendent Bill Redinger said he can’t talk specifically about Trevon’s case but he has watched the video Caraballo posted.

“We’re outraged any time we feel like one of our students has had to face a derogatory or a racially charged kind of a comment or action, so we really want to take our time and investigate,” Redinger said.

That time investigating is why Caraballo and his wife say they pulled Trevon from school last week when they got an email from Trevon that the other student was back at school.

“The kid who said ‘I wish black people would die’ is at school right now finishing out his school year and my son is not because it’s unsafe for him to be there,” he said.

Now Caraballo and his wife want more. He said others from across the city have reached out with their own stories and now he's hoping for bigger change at the school district.

“The first thing we want to see is an intensive training for sensitivity done by an outside organization,” he said. “We would love to see the policies change to where there is a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, racism and bullying as well.”  

“I’m actually encouraged to hear that,” said Redinger. “I feel like we can work together with the family.”

Redinger said the district began cultural responsiveness training last fall. “Those efforts have begun this year but they’re by no means finished.”

Redinger will be there Tuesday when school district officials meet with the family to try to resolve this. The school year ends Thursday.

“I think it is time for a solution,” said Caraballo.