Parents in Bettendorf, Iowa have filed a lawsuit against their child's school district after a video went viral of two white students, one in blackface, pretending to commit a "hate crime," the Insider reports.
The first video was posted on TikTok in January of 2020, by students from the Pleasant Valley High School, the lawsuit states.
As described in the suit, the video shows one of the white students in blackface while another student pretends to strike him as background music repeats racial epithets. The student then pretends to shoot the other student in blackface "execution-style," according to the lawsuit.
KWQC, a local news outlet, obtained the video and confirmed that it contained the depiction but declined to repost it.
School officials received complaints about the video from students but the parents were never offcially made aware that it existed.
Almost two years later, the video was posted again in December 2021 prompting the officials at the high school to send an email informing the parents about its existence calling the video"racist" and "abhorrent," the lawsuit said.
Also, the lawsuit argues that by the school failing to inform them of the video when it was first posted online, the school prevented them from "being able to parent" and they could not shield their child from the "harms, trauma, and emotional distress" that were caused by the video. Additionally, the suit claims the school “failed to maintain a safe learning environment for its students by not taking any disciplinary measures against the students who made the video.”
The Pleasant Valley Community School District, the board of education, the superintendent, and the principal of Pleasant Valley High School are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Superintendent Brian Strusz addressed the lawsuit in a brief statement to Local 4 News.
"We are aware of the lawsuit, but cannot comment on pending litigation,” he said.
The family is seeking unspecified damages.