AUSTIN, Texas - It was a Friday in May when father and civil attorney Robert Ranco got a chilling text from his 12-year old daughter.
“The text said ‘hey dad is it racist if somebody calls a black person an ape?” My response was yes,’” said Ranco.
According to a written report, a female student along with a couple others, called the 12-year-old African American student an ape at Tippit Middle School.
“She knew it was mean. She knew that holding up the phone and comparing somebody to apes, that's not a compliment. So it was clearly bullying,” said Ranco.
The report said the incidents started back in March. It said in one incident, the 12-year-old pointed out a male student who was involved in a lunchtime conflict. The boy then said quote”you're not really going to take the word of a black person over the word of a white one?"
The report also brings up another incident when the girl and her teammates were on the tennis court.
“The other girl found a long piece of black rubber. She picked up the rubber and started chasing my daughter around as if it were a whip, saying ‘get back here, you're my slave now,’” said Ranco.
Ranco said he only wants a discussion with the parents, but has had no luck. He has been meeting with several concerned citizens and activists in Georgetown who are sharing similar experiences.
“Because we don't handle these things, they spiral out of control and we have bigger issues,” said Jaquita Wilson-Kirby, concerned citizen.
Georgetown ISD said they punished the students with counseling and community service. Ranco said they should have been suspended.
“Twelve-year-olds do mean things; twelve-year-olds do ignorant things. We can be forgiving to a point but really we need to come together. There needs to be discussion about this. If we truly see our neighbors as brothers and sisters, we don't treat them like that,” said Ranco.
Georgetown ISD released this statement:
"The behavior of the students involved in this incident was inappropriate and unacceptable. The campus principal responded swiftly and all students involved were appropriately disciplined according to our student code of conduct.
To make very clear that racist comments and discriminatory conduct is not tolerated, in addition to other disciplinary measures, students involved were counseled regarding their behavior, were required to complete relevant no place for hate lessons, and complete community service. It's important that students understand there are consequences for their words and actions, and we hope that they learn from their mistakes."