NEW LENOX, Ill. — A Joliet family is leveling charges of racism at a suburban coed catholic high school.
Tianna Waits pulled her son out of Providence Catholic High School and transferred him to another school, saying enough is enough.
“I no longer felt it was safe for him to be there. So I decided to pull him out,” she said.
Waits’ son is a 15-year-old freshman. He secretly recorded students playing a racist song to him at school.
Waits’ posted the video, that contains derogatory and racist remarks, to her Facebook page to spread the word.
To protect her son’s identity from the public at large, Tianna asks that we use a first name of Marcus.
“I was on an island by myself. There was people and there was me. It was brutal. It was like I was fighting for my life and I have nobody, I have no armor,” said Marcus.
Waits and Marcus said that student who played the racist song, and a few others, have taunted him with the N-word on different occasions, damaging then stealing his personal belongings and harassing him through social media.
Waits said she informed school officials from the beginning last fall and asked them to discipline the student or students responsible.
By January, the alleged incidents were the subject of texts between mother and son with Marcus writing he feels so angry and he can’t sleep.
“He wasn’t himself at all and his grades had dropped tremendously,” said Waits.
Today, the school and Joliet archdiocese issued a statement that they are working together on investigating the song incident. It reads in part:
“Neither Providence Catholic nor the Diocese of Joliet tolerate any conduct that is averse to the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. Providence Catholic strives to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment that embraces students of all ethnicities, national origins and religions…school leadership is conducting a thorough investigation into this matter…”
Waits said the student at the center of these allegations is a wrestler and she believes the matter was not handled adequately because the school’s dean of discipline is the wrestling coach.
“He sat there and told me Monday was the first time he ever heard this kid’s name,” said Waits.