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Maury Co. School District Ordered to Undergo Sensitivity Training--Mikayla Lewis

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A Maury county grandmother claims after  another student called her grandson the n word, school administrators turned around and used the term loosely with her.

Now the Tennessee Department of Education  is supporting her fight for civil rights after opening an investigation in April.

The state is now demanding Maury County Schools implement sensitivity training.

It's not only to teach students, but also administrators after allegedly failing to address the problem in the beginning.

Going back to school for Katrina Donaldson's grandson is taking more than just books this upcoming school year. Anxiety medication is also a school supply.

Katrina Donaldson says, " It's heartbreaking because like I said he loves school. We've never had a problem with him in school."

That changed in January. Donaldson says her 11-year-old was called the n-word by a Mount Pleasant elementary school student on the bus and kicked.

According to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights investigation, the grandmother contacted and met with Maury County School Administrators about the harassment when it happened twice.

Donaldson says she recorded the meetings and so did the school staff.

Katrina Donaldson says, "The principal of the elementary, Larry Browne he sort of ran the meeting even though Mary Carter was supposed to but he ran the meeting and he wouldn't give in on anything and he repeated the n-word over and over again."       

The State says in one meeting that several faculty members repeatedly used the racial slur ten times.

Katrina Donaldson says, " I came out of both meetings really upset but I kept my cool because it's all about my grandson."

The TOCR's report calls the school district's response a "lack of cultural sensitivity" and is now demanding sensitivity training. Donaldson's attorney, Gary Blackburn says the school district violated Civil Rights Act Title XI which prohibits racial discrimination in federally funded places

Gary Blackburn attorney says, "this is a lawsuit about protecting him and through him other african-american children who ride the school buses or appear daily at this school from attacks or racial animosity."


The school district and its attorney declined to comment at this time.



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