CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – A student at Geibel Catholic High School in Fayette County has been suspended for racial bullying.
According to the school, an African-American student filed a complaint after another student allegedly made use of a racial slur multiple times.
The hallways of Geibel Catholic High School are supposed to be a bully-free zone, but De’Onte Smith says his cousin, who he asked us not to name, slipped through the cracks.
“She let it go the first time, and then it kept persisting, the guy kept going around saying, ‘Oh, I called her the n-word,’” said Smith.
On Monday, Smith says the bullying got so bad that his cousin came home in tears. On Tuesday, she and her mother met with school officials who documented the incident.
“It’s unfortunate that this happened, but it does not reflect the student body or the student culture at Geibel Catholic,” said Principal Don Favero.
Favero says the incident was dealt with per the Safe School Act of 1995, which requires an immediate 10-day suspension, a call to state police and a note on the actor’s permanent disciplinary record.
The school also went a step further and asked its religious education teacher to add a discussion about racial bullying to the lesson plan.
“We wanted to put a component in and reemphasize the sensitivity to each other, mutual respect, mutual tolerance, loved and concern as Christians for one another,” said Favero.
For Smith, that’s a step in the right direction. He’s hoping others will learn from his cousin’s pain.
“She is a good student; she’s in honor classes, this should not have happened,” Smith said.
The victim is no longer a student at Geibel. Her family says she transferred to another school in the area.