The Carbondale Area School Board heard from a parent last week who complained that biracial students continue to be subjected to racism and bullying at school, and she insisted that something be done about it.


The Carbondale Area School Board heard from a parent last week who complained that biracial students continue to be subjected to racism and bullying at school, and she insisted that something be done about it.
The woman (whose name is being withheld by the NEWS) broke down in tears and had to compose herself before addressing the board.  She told the school directors that her two children are “dark-skinned,” including her daughter who is biracial. 
She stated that when her daughter was in the 8th grade, she was called a racial epithet and told to “go back to Mexico across the border where you belong.”
The woman noted that high school principal Joseph Farrell dealt with the incident satisfactorily at that time, but since then she continues to hear stories about students from mixed marriages who continue to be harassed.
“The whole biracial thing is out of control,” she offered.
“I’m still hearing that other kids are having the same problem, where one parent is black and the other one is white,” she related.  “Something has to be done because that stuff went out with the 1950s!”
Farrell told the board that appropriate disciplinary action was taken when the incident with the woman’s daughter was first reported to him, and the woman confirmed that.  He said the same is true in all such cases.
“If it’s brought to our attention, it is handled,” he stated.  “In fact, in each instance, it has been handled very, very aggressively.”
In addition to disciplinary action, Farrell said the district has brought in numerous guest speakers through the years to address the topic of bullying and try to put an end to student harassment of other students, for racial or any other reasons.
“We just had a former member of the Miami Dolphins football team come in and talk to our kids about it,” he pointed out.
“I’m not saying it doesn’t happen and I’m not saying that it’s not a serious issue,” he added, “but at the same time it’s not something that’s being ignored.”
Board president Gary Smedley agreed, explaining that the district has an anti-bullying policy already in place.  However, he noted that district officials, including superintendent Dr. Dominick Famularo and Mr. Farrell, would look into the woman’s specific complaints and see if anything more needs to be done.