Madison County schools sued over racial slur incidents

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two Madison County sisters from Berea who WTVQ first reported on earlier this year have filed a federal lawsuit against school district officials, Superintendent David Gilliam, Madison Southern High School principal Brandon Watkins and four students, for racist bullying and harassment.

The lawsuit ( madison southern lawsuit actual  ) was filed by Moriah Hill, a recent Madison Southern High School graduate, and her younger sister, Macie Hill, who is a junior at the school this year, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

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In its response, the school district denies the allegations ( madison southern district answer).

The lawsuit, which originally was filed in Madiso County Circuit Court but was moved this week to federal court, claims the sisters were systemically threatened due to their race and the school allegedly didn’t do enough to stop it. The lawsuit says the younger sister was the victim of a hate speech email from other students which listed the ‘n’ word at least 300 times.

And as WTVQ ABC 36 News reported in May, social media messages also referred to the younger sister as a racial slur.

At the time, Madison Southern High School issued a statement saying four people were charged with harassing communications in connection to the racist social media messages. The four, students Ryan Kidd, Devon Capponi, David Dietz and Carter Cain, are named in the lawsuit as well.