Family files lawsuit against school on Long Island over racist comments made by teacher

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Friday, March 17, 2023

CENTEREACH, Long Island (WABC) -- Joined by her lawyer and her mother, Isabella Moore, 18, described how the last six months at Centereach High School have made her feel 'little,' she says after a math teacher allegedly dress-coded her for wearing certain clothing - yet the teacher said nothing to her white classmates who wore similar outfits.

"Like four other girls that were white, and nothing was said to them, but it was said to me," Moore said.

However, the racism from that teacher was even more blatant and hurtful, they say, one day after Moore returned home from being sick.

"She realized that I was there, and she seemed upset about it, and she made the comment that 'these Black kids are always absent,'" Moore said.

They say that pattern of bullying continued once Moore tried to speak to the teacher.

"She also said about (Moore), 'if you dress like a slut and I call you out for being a slut, I guess that would make me a racist,'" said the student's attorney, Vess Mitev.

Moore pursued a complaint through state law called 'DASA' - the Dignity for All Students Act, meant to battle bullies' behavior.

In a statement, the Middle Country School District called this a 'personnel issue' and said 'confidentiality applies' due to potential litigation. The superintendent went on to say 'All action was in compliance with the guidelines of DASA and applicable law.'

The school's own internal investigation found that this teacher was in violation of school policy and each and every one of the times the student alleges, yet the teacher remains in the classroom.

"We are asking today that the district immediately suspend the teacher," said Mitev.

They say they will file a multi-million dollar lawsuit if that's what it takes to get rid of a bully who is a teacher - with no classroom instruction in Math since December.

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