A White Boy Called My Daughter A “Nigger”

To show your support, please like and share on social media. Be sure to use the hashtag: #BlackInMamaroneck #BlackAtHommocks.

What experiences with bullying or harassment have you or your children had? Please go to https://BullyFree.Me to tell your story by rating and writing a review of that school. Two minutes is all it will take and you may be helping families like mine avoid the nightmare of having to deal with this kind of emotional trauma.

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Update 2/13/19: I am very proud to unveil OneMamaroneck. A collective of like-minded individuals who are passionate about bringing change directly to the front door of the Mamaroneck Union Free School District. For everyone that has supported our family, empathized with us and asked how you can lend a hand - this is it!

Please head on over to OneMamaroneck.org to get started. Please let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions as we continue to build and tweak. Going forward, all updates relating to this situation and the experiences of countless others will be posted there.

Thank you all so very much!

Love wins.

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Update 2/8/19: My family and I would like to thank everyone for their support, prayers and inquiries about how the public can mobilize on behalf of our daughter. We have been overwhelmed by your expressions of love, kindness and empathy. On Wednesday, 2/13/19 we will be posting an update about: (1) this situation and the school district's response, (2) our intended next steps and (3) the ways in which the public can help and support efforts to bring about real change in Mamaroneck's schools. Please bear with us as we attempt to respond to every person that has sent us an email. You are proof that love will always win over hate. Stay tuned.

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Update 2/5/19: I attended a school board meeting to discuss proposed changes to the schedule at Hommocks Middle School. This is a video of my statement about the district’s continued and complete disregard for issues of race, diversity and the hate speech directed at my daughter by a White boy. In the video, the district attempts to silence me and when that fails, the board president and vice president stand to walk out on me as I speak.

I am David, a parent and educator describing (at a school board meeting) the horrible experience my daughter and two other Black students endured when they were called the N-word by a White boy at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont, NY.

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Just before Christmas (2018), my wife and I learned that a White boy at my 10-year-old daughter’s middle school called her a “nigger.” Not only did this boy feel comfortable hurling this racial epithet at my daughter and her two Black friends (one male, one female), he also Googled the word on his phone and demanded (albeit unsuccessfully) that they read the definition.  

The school did not notify us about this incident when it occurred. When we reached out to the school about the incident our emails initially went unanswered, and then we were stalled and then we were asked to be patient while they investigated. During the investigation, the school threatened my daughter’s Black male friend, accusing him of lying and telling him that he had “one last chance to tell the truth.” That experience left him in tears and feeling accused rather than believed and supported. When we followed up with the principal – after waiting a month for them to conclude their investigation – we were asked to speak with the assistant principal. We responded demanding a meeting with the principal, which was eventually scheduled.

When we sat down for the meeting with the principal and assistant principal, they both stared at us blankly, as if waiting for us to tell them why we were there. We began by explaining how disappointed and frustrated we were that it had taken so long to schedule a meeting about this incident. The principal then said she was confused about why we wanted this meeting, because she thought this situation had been resolved. As it turns out, according to the principal, the situation had been investigated, a disciplinary response was imposed on the White boy who used the racial slur and a meeting was had with his parents. 

Evidently, both the principal and assistant principal had already moved on, considering this situation concluded: (1) They never met with the parents of the three Black children assaulted by this boy’s language. (2) No counseling was offered to any of these children. (3) No mediation was ever conducted between the White boy and the three Black children even as they continued to attend the same after school club; and (4) no meeting was had between all the parents involved. Additionally, (5) their teachers were never informed of the incident or asked to be vigilant with respect to how this incident may affect their academics. And (6) until now, the school has not made the school counselor (who was supervising the after school club when this incident occurred) available to us to explain what he saw and heard on that day, despite our unanswered emails to him directly and our subsequent conversation with the principal. By the principal’s own admission, she did however make the counselor available to speak with the White boy’s parents.

In short, we were startled to hear the principal acknowledge out loud, that the only parents she, her assistant principal and the school counselor had actually communicated with and included in the discussion of an “outcome” to the incident were the parents of the White boy. What we’ve learned (and these Black children are currently struggling to comprehend) is that even in schools, when Whites are the aggressors, they are treated with more respect and given more consideration than those they have violently assaulted with their language.

Read “Mamaroneck Union Free School District’s Race, Diversity and Equity Problem” here.

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Dr. David Martin is a veteran education administrator and former principal working in New York City. He holds two master’s degrees and earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.