A Chicago family, who relocated to Iowa for a better life, didn’t expect to find blatant racism at their daughter’s elementary school.
According to Black Iowa News, Andre White and Ciara Winters and their four children– Sa’ Riyah, 13, Jour’Ni, 8, Javier, 6, Gianni, 3, and Dre Ah, 11-months moved to Maquoketa, Iowa, to escape the violence of their Chicago neighborhood. The small town the family moved to only has a population of 6,126. Roughly 2% of the population is Black.
“I really don’t hear any violence or anything – here – like it is in Chicago,” said Ciara, 31. “It’s very violent there.”
Since the move and the start of the new school year, Andre and Ciara’s 8-year-old daughter, Jour’Ni, has been subjected to racist bullying and threats by classmates at Maquoketa Elementary School.
Jour’Ni has been called a ni**er on more than one occasion by a boy in her class. She’s also been called a “Black elephant” and was even told to “go back where she came from.” Students have even physically assaulted the 8-year-old girl and threatened her with a weapon, to the shock of her parents. several times and threatened with a weapon, she said.
“Jour’Ni doesn’t even know what racism is, and now we have to teach her the raw truth of racism. We have to teach her that,” her mother told the publication. “I don’t feel like my kid is safe at the school.”
Maquoketa Community School District Superintendent Tara Notz claimed that students’ safety was always put first– over the investigation.
“Typically, we start by letting both parents know, both sets of parents,” she said. “And then based on the investigation and the information that we gather, we discuss both consequences, as well as learning opportunities.”
Ciara denied the superintendent’s claim. The distressed mother asked administrators to meet with the alleged little terrorist’s family but to no avail.
“They told me they’re not allowed to tell me what the consequences are, if anything.”
Notz claimed her hands were tied with respect to the details of the outcome of the boy’s punishment. She did explain that she could disclose that he faced the consequences.
“I’m not able to share with that parent specifics about another child’s consequences. So I’m not able to say, for example, you know, ‘I suspended this child for three days or five days.'”
“I just don’t think that it had been stated directly to the family that the other student had consequences,” Notz said.
The superintendent called the lack of action– “a breakdown in communication.”
The student reportedly received “guided learning.”
“That’s not a consequence,” Ciara expressed, revealing she wanted more severe consequences for the boy who allegedly had been terrorizing Jour’Ni.