Michigan Division of Civil Rights investigating claims of racism at Hartland Excessive College

Racial bullying at Hartland High School is currently under investigation by a civil rights organization

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is investigating after a Hartland High School student came forward for racist bullying.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is investigating after a senior Hartland High School woman said she had been a victim of bullying for two years.

Tatayana Vanderlaan said a group of boys called her the N word while others told her “Black life doesn’t matter” and she “should go back to the plantation”.

Original report: Hartland Sr. said she had endured racial harassment and was told to “be lynched”.

“We can no longer tiptoe around these issues and apologize,” said James White, executive director of the civil rights division.

Vanderlaan said she told the teachers but that didn’t help. She said the bullying got so bad that she feared for her life.

“I feel very insecure not only in the Hartland community, but everywhere after receiving the threats,” she said.

White, a former Detroit deputy chief of police, says Vanderlaan’s safety is of the utmost importance.

“It’s disturbing, I mean, my previous work, you hear this kind of thing, you know, it strikes a few strings with me,” he said.

After Vanderlaan shared her experience at school on Facebook, Hartland School District wrote a letter to respond that it had not taken the allegations lightly and would investigate.

Tatayana Vanderlaan

“It’s fair to say they are cooperative. They are definitely open to training, they are open to us coming in and working with them,” White said.

White’s agency representatives met with school officials Thursday. The investigation will look for violations of the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act.

“We are not going to start the process from a place where ‘because you are in a rural community these issues are not as advanced for you as they are in other communities.’ That’s an unacceptable standard, “said White.

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