Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash


In the seemingly unending story concerning some Lubbock school students being racially targeted just for being Black, the latest chapter involves racist bullying at several school campuses within the Lubbock Independent School District.

By Abel Cruz

As the Legal Redress Chair of the Lubbock Chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Phyllis Gant is responsible for addressing and trying to resolve grievances that individuals bring to the attention of the Chapter. 

She has been working on the same bullying issues at Laura Bush Middle School (LBMS) which is within the Lubbock Cooper Independent School District for a couple of years. Gant has been representing the student victims and their parents, as she meets with school administrators to try and get the racist bullying to stop. 

Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse instead of better.

The racist bullying began in 2021 at LBMS, with black students being referred to as “monkeys”, both verbally and on social media, and made to listen to “whipping sounds” from a phone app as they walked down the halls. 

Despite the efforts by Gant which have resulted in some meetings with the school administration and the Lubbock Cooper Independent School District (LCISD) Board of Trustees, things haven’t changed much.  

Earlier this year, we reported that the board had finally taken action, approving a resolution in January which seemed to downplay the seriousness of the problems and does not provide specific proactive steps to deal with these types of situations in the future. The resolution uses non committal language such as “The Lubbock-Cooper Independent School Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining a safe, orderly learning environment for students of all races, cultures and ethnicities,” 

To the parents, it’s just more empty words from the people in charge of taking care of their children during school hours. After their efforts resulted in very little improvement, Gant and the local chapter President, Milton Lee filed a complaint on behalf of the parents and students with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. 

The case is going through the process, but once the Chapter gets a response, they will then take the next step which will include the possibility of legal action taken against LCISD. 

The most recent incidents of the same type of racist bullying and taunts now involve several schools within the Lubbock Independent School District and Roosevelt ISD. Gant tells El Editor that she has received complaints involving students “at Irons Elementary, Atkins Junior High, Lubbock High School, Coronado High School, Overton Elementary and Roosevelt schools”. 

Gant assured El Editor that administrators at each one of the schools she mentioned are aware of the complaints since she has met with them to make them aware of the problems. 

Asked if she has had any support from individuals directly involved within LISD, Gant made it very clear that some trustees like School Board Trustee Lala Chavez, District 1 and District 2 Trustee Bill Stubblefield have been very supportive and helpful. But the LISD Board as a whole has not. 

On April 17th, Gant and some of the parents and students who have been adversely impacted by the racism, were in Austin to testify in front of the Texas House Youth Health & Safety Select Committee. 

As we reported in the April 20th edition of this newspaper, Texas House Bill 4625 was introduced by 3 Democratic Texas State Representatives. The bill is “Relating to bullying, cyberbullying, and identity-based bullying in public schools”. 

The main purpose of the proposed legislation reads, “implementing a strategy to prevent or mediate either specific instances or cultures of bullying or harassment that occur due to the victim’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, gender, religion, disability status, or association with a person or group with one or more of those actual or perceived characteristics”. 

In other words, if passed, the bill would address the same issues that Gant has been trying to address, only with the law on her side.    

During the hearing, Tracy Kemp, the mother of one of the students, testified that she had “made a call to the FBI hotline, because that’s how bad it had gotten in our school district” (LCISD). 

Gant says that they did not go to Austin because they were invited to testify. She says they went because they wanted to make legislators aware of the problems in Lubbock. She says that she is disappointed that one of the Democratic sponsors of the bill did not attend. 

Unfortunately, the bill was left pending in committee. And in a Republican controlled legislature, it is very doubtful that House Bill 4625 will ever be passed.

For now, Gant is not optimistic that the current situation will get any better for Black students. Gant tells us that she has spoken individually with LISD Trustee Bill Stubblefield, Kathy Rollo and Lala Chavez. But there seems to be a disconnect between what Gant says and the official statement coming out of LISD.  

Gant says that the LISD board as a whole is telling her that they “have not received one single complaint from anyone”. Yet Gant says that she has made contact with administration personnel at each one of the LISD schools mentioned above. 

In a story posted online on, a statement provided by the LISD Board states that “Lubbock ISD does not currently have any active grievances in process at the campuses mentioned during public comment at this morning’s board meeting”. 

Gant says that the next step in the process is for the Justice Department to conclude their interviews with the parties involved before they decide if any further action is warranted. 

Gant wanted to make it clear that she has made some headway with the cooperation of some administrators with Lubbock Cooper. She says that she has been able to get some of the issues resolved.  

“I’ve received some phone calls and individuals have reached out to me”. 

For now, it seems fairly certain that Gant will continue to try and make sure that more and more Lubbock residents know what is going on in their city’s taxpayer supported public schools.

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