GALVESTON, Texas - A Galveston woman has filed a lawsuit against Trinity Episcopal School, claiming its leaders failed to stop her child from being bullied and subjected to racist insults.
Meanwhile, her attorney says other parents have come forward with similar claims about the private school attended by children of some of the island’s most prominent families.
The woman is named in the lawsuit, but The Daily News has withheld that information to protect the identity of her minor son. The woman is an employee of The Daily News.
The lawsuit was filed May 5 in 405th District Court against the school, headmaster the Rev. David Dearman and the parents of three students. Neither the parents nor the accused children are named in the petition filed last week.
The lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages.
“Trinity Episcopal School Galveston is saddened by the lawsuit that has been filed by the mother of a former seventh-grade student against the school, its head, and three of her son’s former classmates,” Dearman said in a written statement.
The plaintiff’s son, who is African American, attended Trinity Episcopal School from 2014 to 2016, when his mother withdrew him because of bullying and harassment, the lawsuit asserts.
The lawsuit asserts that three white students made and handed the boy “KKK origami” resembling the hoods worn by KKK members and verbally abused him with “KKK beats.” The lawsuit doesn’t explain what exactly “beats” are.
The three are accused of stating that their fathers were “dragon masters of the KKK” and generally bullying, harassing and racially discriminating against the boy to the point that he no longer felt safe and comfortable to attend Trinity, the lawsuit asserts.
Dearman later told the mother the three students had admitted to the bullying, the lawsuit asserts.
The students were required to write an apology letter to the boy and one was suspended from school for a day, the lawsuit asserts.
Trinity Episcopal School released the following statement:
Trinity Episcopal School Galveston is saddened by the lawsuit that has been filed by the mother of a former 7th grade student against the school, its head, and three of her son's former classmates. The school has policy that prohibits any form of bullying or discrimination. As soon as the school was informed of an issue over a year ago, it addressed it immediately, consistent with its policy. The mother withdrew her child from the school four days later. Trinity Episcopal School values diversity and is committed to upholding standards that reflect our mission in Christ. Because this dispute involves children, we will have no further comment on the litigation.