Former Church Hill Middle School Student’s Racial Bullying Lawsuit Settled in Groundbreaking Case

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. – A lawsuit alleging racial bullying at Church Hill Middle School has been settled after school officials were accused of ignoring the issue. The settlement was approved by a U.S. District Court in Greeneville.

The lawsuit was filed by the mother of a former student, who claimed that her child had been verbally and physically assaulted at the school by peers due to his race. The alleged incidents occurred in 2021, when the student was in eighth grade.

According to court documents, the settlement includes a payment of $110,000 from the school board. Out of this amount, $50,180.88 will go towards the plaintiff’s attorney fees and expenses, while the remaining $59,819.12 will be set aside in an interest-bearing account for the educational needs of the minor.

A court hearing was held to review the settlement and determine its appropriateness. Following the approval from the court, a U.S. district judge ordered the case to be closed.

The original lawsuit, initially filed in May 2022 and later amended, accused the school board of tolerating and condoning the racial harassment experienced by the student. It claimed that the student was subjected to racial slurs and physical assault by his peers, while the white student involved in an altercation with him faced less severe consequences.

In response to the lawsuit, the school board denied the allegations of tolerating such behavior. The settlement brings an end to the legal dispute.