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Grand Haven Schools release video of racial bus incident

8:01 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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Surveillance video from a Grand Haven school bus. (February 2013)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- WZZM 13 is taking a closer look inside the Grand Haven area school bus at the center of an alleged racial incident, including surveillance video recorded last month where two biracial girls were targeted.

"It's sickening," says Lisa Hall whose biracial daughter, Katie Bridgeforth was targeted. "The N-word, the B-word, and the F-word were used pretty much the entire ride home."

Hall watched surveillance video from inside the bus and described what happened.

"She was humiliated and put her head down," says Hall.

The other biracial girl on the bus was Dystanny Dunn.

"These dudes were like why don't you guys sit back here all the time, black people are supposed to sit at the back of the bus," Dunn told WZZM 13 in a previous interview.

Now, the Department of Education's Civil Rights Office is investigating other alleged racial incidents at Grand Haven High School, including one where a student wore a KKK hood in a lunchroom. However, the superintendent says the video of that incident was deleted.

"We have a video security retaping over itself on a monthly basis," says Keith Konarska, Superintendent of Grand Haven Schools.

"It's destroying evidence and I'll be contacting the Department of Civil Rights to let them know," says Hall.

"We've tried to cooperate with the authorities from the very beginning, we're not holding anything back," says Konarska.

Konarska says because of privacy laws, the district is not disclosing the student's punishments. Hall would like the school to go a step farther, by hiring more minority teachers and bus drivers.

Tuesday night, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance is hosting a community forum about the racial incidents last month. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Grand Haven High School Performing Arts Center.

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