Za’Khari Waddy, 13, says that he has been repeatedly harassed and abused at Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, Va., including being asked if he’s going to rape or rob someone and called the n-word.
A Virginia eighth-grader has penned an open letter to his school, detailing the horrific abuse and racism he says he has had to deal with on a daily basis for almost four years now.
According to the New York Daily News, Za’Khari Waddy, who is only 13, has been repeatedly bullied and harassed because of his race while attending Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, Va. The report comes as the nation is still reeling from the fallout over racial tensions at the University of Missouri.
“Ever since we’ve moved to this area my son has been faced with racism,” Za’Khari’s mother, Zettrona Powell, wrote in a letter to the school, according to the Daily News. “He’s been asked if he was going to rape or rob a young lady, he’s been pushed into lockers and called a n—-r on numerous occasions.”
Powell says that nothing has been done about her son’s abuse, even though the family has consistently reported the incidents to officials. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back dates back to Oct. 27, when Za’Khari was riding a school bus to Tabb after an away game.
“Yesterday on the football bus coming from our football game a kid … started saying racist things to me. He then started saying he does not like blacks and he told me 200 years ago my ancestors hung from a tree and after he said that I should I hang from a tree,” Za’Khari wrote in his open letter.
“That made me super mad, so in the locker room I told him not to call me n—-r or that I should be hung on a tree,” he continued. “The coaches took me away from the kid because I was really mad and they think I was going to fight him but I want someone to do something about it because I’m tired of boys messing with me because of my skin. I’m at my boiling point with this. Please do something about this because when I bring it to the office/principle [sic] you do nothing about it and I’m tired of the racism.”
Even though Powell followed up with the school and met with the principal, and has written to and called the school and the school board, the only response the worried mom received was the message that it would be looked into. Meanwhile, Za’Khari is dealing with the constant hatred.
“This has crushed my son’s spirit,” his mother told the Daily News. “When my son got off the bus, he threw his backpack, the coaches came in and told him don’t let it get to him. How can he not allow this to bother him mentally? This has mentally damaged my son.”
Powell hopes that the students tormenting her son will be properly punished and that the school will also facilitate a meeting between her and the boys’ families. But she tells the newspaper that so far she has been met with the same response: “Please know that the matter is being investigated.”