Ten-year-old Taylor Armbrester of Chelsea Park Elementary School in Shelby County, Alabama, has become one of the latest victims of racial abuse.
The fifth grader has reportedly had to deal with racial taunting from his classmates since he transferred to the mostly White Chelsea Park Elementary School in the fall, reports AL.com.
Taylor says he has been the victim of physical and verbal assaults from classmates who have punched, kicked, and called him “black boy” and “retarded.”
In a recent instance, a classmate reportedly came up to him during lunch and recited a made-up poem to suggest that because he is Black it made him different and inferior to his peers:
Roses are red, violets are blue, I am White, you should be too.
Roses are red, violets are blue, I am White, why aren’t you?
Roses are red, violets are blue, God made me pretty, what happened to you?” the boy said Taylor.
Taylor says the same boy started a physical altercation with him previously that led to a meeting with the guidance counselor, but Taylor thought they had become friends after that.
In a similar instance, another boy reportedly accused Taylor of stealing a fidget spinner, a popular toy with kids, and punched him in the face after a physical education class.
According to Taylor, it turns out “he lost it [the toy] out of his book bag.”
Taylor said he is often targeted by his classmates because they believe they can always get away with it.
“They think they can just do it to me,” Taylor says. “They think I’m dumb or something. They [keep] on doing it to me.”
His mother, Shaneka Philips, a social worker in Shelby County, agrees, “He seems to be an easy target.”
According to Philips, she and Taylor have held recent meetings about the constant bullying with the school’s guidance counselor and the assistant principal.
Assistant Principal Mary Anderson, however, insists that racial bullying is not a problem at the school and describes Taylor’s experience as an isolated case, “This would be an isolated case; I have not had to deal with that.
“The school is welcoming of diversity. We have children of all races.”
While bullying is not uncommon in American schools, a new survey conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center among teachers has shown that there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that overt and covert racism may have spiked following President Donald Trump’s victory at the polls with his anti-minority rhetoric and White supremacist support.