Har-Ber women basketball participant information civil rights criticism in opposition to Springdale Faculties

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – The family of a Har-Ber high basketball player filed a civil rights complaint against Springdale Public Schools. The complaint accused the girls’ basketball coach of discrimination.

Kania Starks is a senior at Har-Ber and she said her trainer Kimberly Jenkins discriminated against her and suspended her from the team when she was called.

“To be honest, I just feel like I’ve been treated unfairly,” said Starks.

The complaint will list the grounds for the discrimination as “race or color, disability, retaliation for making a complaint or asserting your rights”. It is said that Starks diagnosed fear, which can be directly attributed to Jenkins.

According to the complaint, Jenkins asked Starks to “add a little caramel” when describing a basketball game. Starks believes it was a racially motivated comment related to her skin color. The complaint also states that the coach put in place a natural hair policy aimed at people of color.

“The natural hair policy had nothing to do with basketball in my opinion,” said Starks. “I don’t think your hair has anything to do with anything, honestly.”

The Starks family said they had met with the school administration, but decision makers did not raise the issue. Springdale Schools declined to comment on the pending legal matters.

In a note to the team parents, the coaching staff discussed the suspension, indicating that it was due to the Starks’ demeanor.

“Kania needs to understand that these expectations must be met and she must make changes,” the note read. “It has to decide whether or not it can perform in and out of court within that culture.”

Stark’s note that you added may come back if it follows a “plan for success”.

“When and when Kania decides she can meet our expectations, she can contact one of our administrators to set up the meeting and we can proceed from there,” the note reads.

The Har-Ber girls ‘basketball coaching team sent this letter to parents regarding the Starks’ suspension.

Starks said she followed her trainer’s instructions and doesn’t know how she failed to live up to expectations.

“She told me that as a senior, I wasn’t doing enough or not doing well enough to play basketball for her,” said Starks. “I had no idea what she was talking about.”

Starks, a talented basketball player, said she continues to train alone and chat with college coaches. She said she tried to be honest with them about what happened and knows some are weary of their suspension.

“I just hope they see me as a talented athlete and they don’t think I was suspended for some bad reason or anything,” Starks said.

BC Pickett is the Starks family attorney. He filed the civil rights complaint.

“The [Har-Ber] The administration denied her equal rights at every turn, ”said Pickett. “Your basketball future in high school is already ruined, but we’re trying to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Starks said she doesn’t think she’ll ever stand for Har-Ber again. She hopes this complaint will lead the administrators to discipline Jenkins and force her to apologize.

“I just want everyone to be treated fairly and equally, and I have a feeling that it is not at all,” said Starks.

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