Parents upset over alleged racial bullying at Jasper Middle School

Staff Photo by Stephen Hargis / Jasper Middle School in Marion County, Tenn., is shown Aug. 1, 2022. Marion County Director of Schools Mark Griffith said the central office will be investigating allegations of race-based harassment at Jasper Middle and will also conduct a school climate survey to identify any additional issues that must be addressed.

Two Jasper Middle School families say their concerns about a student they say has made racist comments to their children and threatened to kill them have been ignored in Marion County.

Parents Samantha Robinson and Alison Rich - both Marion County natives and previous students in the system - said the male student who threatened their children and other Black children last school year received only five days of suspension, which they contend he spent at home rather than alternative school.

Robinson and Rich say the same student was then allowed to return to school for the first day of fall term despite Marion County Director of Schools Mark Griffith's assurances he would be going to another school. Rich's daughter moved to another school over the issue, while Robinson's daughter stayed at Jasper Middle, where she assumed she would be safe, Robinson said Tuesday in a phone interview.