Disturbing allegations have surfaced out of a Long Island high school, where a teacher was accused of making racist and inappropriate remarks toward a special needs student.
Now the student’s family is taking action — because they said the school and the district failed to do so.
What seemed a typical day for most Centereach High School students was anything but for senior Bella Moore. The 18-year-old special needs student sat down with her mom and lawyer to explain that she had been harassed and bullied at school by one of her teachers.
“It made me feel little, like it was upsetting. I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me,” said Moore.
Moore’s lawyer said it all began in Sept. 2022, with the teacher making what the lawyer described as a racist comment after Moore missed school.
“She said vile things like, “I can’t deal with all these Black kids always being absent,” said attorney Vess Mitev.
After that, Moore recalled the teacher targeted her for wearing cropped shirts to class.
“There was other kids who would wear cropped shirts or have their mid-riff exposed and nothing was said to them,” said Moore, adding that those other students were white.
At one point after filing a complaint against her teacher, Moore said she was removed from that classroom — but the teacher kept on working.
“It’s unforgivable. The school did not do the right thing by my child,” said Moore’s mother, Kimberly.
The family said a school report concluded the teacher’s actions did violate district policy, but Moore’s lawyer said the unidentified teacher has never been disciplined in any way.
“I just saw her yesterday and she walks around with her head held high as if it’s OK to be racist and to be predatory,” said Moore.
On Wednesday, Middle Country schools acknowledged both Moore’s complaint and the school investigation. The district said that while it can’t discuss specifics of those findings, appropriate action against the teacher was taken.
Still the Moore family is moving toward suing the district, demanding the teacher be removed.
“Parents don’t send their kids to get bullied, especially by adults,” said Moore.
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