CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — “No child should be subject to this,” Thomas Debraux III said.
A Gregory Portland Independent School District father is angry and concerned after he said his daughter told him she was the subject of racial slurs at her middle school.
The bi-racial pre-teen told him that other students were using an app that makes a whip sound at her while using derogatory language.
“It’s targeting black and colored kids,” Debraux said.
He didn’t want to show his face on camera when he was interviewed.
“I feel guilty because my daughter is going through this,” he said.
Debraux added that his daughter had been through enough and didn’t want retaliation against her or his family if he said her name or showed his face.
“And you think this is 2023,” he said. “We kind of moved passed that but it’s still going on to this day.”
The week of Feb. 1 his daughter came home crying.
“Ever since black history started they go behind kids in the hall in between classes and play that whipping sound,” he explained.
Unfortunately, she’d experienced similar interactions on campus before.
“They’d wanna pull her hair and touch her hair and ask her derogatory questions,” he said. “She has been called the N-word.”
He has previously told his daughter those kids were uneducated and not monitored by their parents.
“I tell my daughter to not be so emotionally hurt by it, but how can you not be hurt,” Debraux said.
After she told him about the whipping app, Debraux went to Gregory Portland Middle School’s assistant principal.
“No letters were sent home,” Debraux said. “No emails. Nothing addressing the situation to the parents."
“This is a serious matter,” he added. “A little detention or a slap on the wrist isn’t going to work.”
He expected a clearer response from the district.
“It hurts — It hurts my soul. We moved here from Virginia. You know, we’ve been here less than a year. We were told this is the best school system around here," he said.
He wants GPISD to ask parents to be involved.
He suggested having a PTA meeting and letting the parents know everything that’s going on with the kids.
With all the new apps that are coming out parents should be the first defense line to stopping something like this from happening he said.
He expressed that he wants kids to be more empathetic and kinder to their peers.
“Put yourself in the other person’s shoes,” Debraux said. “Actually see what you are doing to somebody. See their reaction and would you want that to happen to you.”
KRIS 6 reached out to Gregory Portland ISD Thursday morning about the incident and this was their response just after 4 p.m.
Yesterday, a G-P Middle School family contacted our Campus Administration and made a claim that pertained to some insulting behavior directed toward their student via use of an app through social media. An investigation was immediately initiated by administration following receipt of that information, and as of this afternoon at least one student was identified. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in this case, and additionally the following message has been released to all G-P Middle School families and students today.
We appreciate you contacting us regarding this matter. It's important to emphasize that G-PISD places high priority on making sure students feel safe at school, and that the learning environment created by our students as well as our staff is as supportive and positive as possible for EVERY student. We want to thank our Campus Administrators for acting in a swift manner, the staff who have been helpful in the process, and the families involved who have partnered with us to ensure that we can move forward in a thoughtful way. Our Learner-Centered Culture makes it clear that G-PISD values Inclusion, with specific behaviors that "treat every person with respect and kindness," and ensures we "take appropriate action when another person is, or feels, marginalized or excluded." The actions of our adults, and most of our student body, have upheld this culture, and we look forward to all students embracing similar actions in the future through this learning experience.
Gregory Portland Middle School's response to parents: