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Washington parents claim unfair punishments by WCHS

WASHINGTON (HOI) — Parents with students at Washington Community High School are coming forward, believing their children were disciplined unfairly – suggesting race played a role. 

With those allegations, superintendent Dr. Kyle Freeman had a response to those parents. 

Brandon Porter, Saudia Carson and Latisha Watts. They all say their kids were punished excessively by Washington Community High School. 

“I don’t pull the race card, I don’t do that,” Porter said. “But at some times, you can’t help but think maybe that is one of these situations.” 

“My children or my children’ children should not have to fight the same fight that my mother or grandmother had to fight,” Carson said. 

“I feel like if you’re not in a certain political status, or if your kid don’t play sports, or they aren’t the right color, you just don’t have options,” Watts said. 

Freeman said the school does not discriminate in disciplinary matters. 

“We treat all our students the same – we’re worried about all of them, we’re concerned about all of them,” he said. 

Porter said his son was punished for singing lyrics he’d heard at school…near a female classmate. 

“He was leaving class headed to the bus,” he said. “They came out of one hallway into another hallway…” 

Carson said her daughter Sol’e now has to abide by a restraining order, taken out against her after she got into a verbal argument with another student, female and white, on September 6. 

“The young girl has not had to change anything,” she said. “She has had to change everything.” 

“She has been told she cannot go to football games anymore or her first homecoming.” 

Latisha Watts, who asked that her face be blurred, said her daughter was also in an argument with a student in August. 

She claims her daughter was suspended, but believes the other student, also Caucasian, was only given detention. 

“Why’s it OK for one student to do it but not for another student to do it?” 

Freeman said because of state laws, he cannot directly address any of these accusations. 

“It’s a tough situation for schools, because we are so held to code on what we can and cannot say,” he said. “It’s just the way it is.” 

He insists however, that every issue is addressed using a set procedure.  

“Any time an incident breaks out, whatever it may be, we follow the same procedures,” he said. “We start with trying to get to the bottom of what actually happened.”  

Freeman said they have to enforce the restraining order issued by the courts, which could change the way a student gets to and from class, or even which classes that student can attend. 

Jason Howell

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