CORYDON, IN (WAVE) – A teenage girl opened her locker to find a small noose. Now, her mother has started a petition hoping to change things.
High School Junior Kitana Beauchamp is bi-racial and she believes the noose was put in her locker because of her race. It happened earlier this month, inside Corydon Central High School.
"After 3rd period, I went to my locker and my friend called my name, so I looked in the direction of the noose and that's when I realized what it was and when I realized what it was, I felt threatened, scared and I really didn't know what to do," said Kitana.
South Harrison Superintendent Dr. Neyland Clark said this is not something they tolerate. He said the two students responsible, a boy and a girl, were disciplined and suspended from school. Clark said the boy received a harsher punishment because he created the noose. The noose was made out of dental floss.
Kitana said this is a boy she has had run-ins with before. "He told me that he didn't really care for black people and he called me the "N" word several times before and he's made racial jokes towards me," said Kitana.
Clark said he doesn't know what motivated the students, but because it may be a hate crime, the case was turned over to Corydon police.
"I know for a fact she is not the only student who goes through this," said Mica Beauchamp, Kitana's mother.
In the mean time, Mica and her daughter started a petition to crack down on discrimination in schools. She has generated a little more than 300 signatures and plans to present it at the next school board meeting on November 13.
"I have a four year old sister that looks black and I don't want to come back to Corydon and hear about her going through this same stuff," said Kitana.
Mica thought what happened to her daughter, may have in some way been connected to a small fire inside a historically black church in Corydon last week. ATF confirms it is investigating the church fire, but the Harrison County Sheriff's Office says they believe the fire was started by a teenager, who is a member of the church.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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