Bremerton girl says she faces racial slurs and bullying at school

BREMERTON, Wash. — A Bremerton seventh-grader says she's the victim of bullying at West Hills STEM Academy, K-8.

Zariah, 12, says classmates are making racist comments and bullying her because she's black.

Her mother says the school isn't doing enough to keep her daughter safe, so she's keeping her home from school until the school comes up with a plan.

"She doesn't deserve the things she's been through and the people who have not protected her and have turned a blind eye, and labeled her as a tattle tale, some administrators have, shame on them," Shaylynn Houston, Zariah's mom, said.

Last year, Zariah says a classmate took down her Google profile photo that said  "God is Good - All the Time" and changed it to a racial slur and photograph. When they complained the district took it down, but the image still appears under photos when Zariah logs into her page.

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Just last Friday she says a boy made racial slurs in class so severely that all of the students were removed from the classroom.

"I was flabbergasted, I was completely shocked, I was appalled," Houston said.

Zariah's mom is keeping her home from school until her mom feels the school can keep her safe.

She says teachers have had Zariah work in small groups with the boys.

"These boys shouldn't have the freedom to be around, what are they going to do next? What has to happen next for something to drastically change?" Houston questioned.

KIRO-7 reached out to the Bremerton School District about the bullying claims on Wednesday afternoon. The district sent a statement:

"We are working with the family to identify and address the concerns they have brought to us.  We remain committed to making sure that each of our students feels safe and supported in our schools."