Alleged racial attacks spark lawsuit against school district


Reporter - Kendall Downing

HARRISBURG, Ill. - A local school district is now at the center of a federal lawsuit. The suit claims the Harrisburg, Illinois school district didn't properly punish students responsible for racially-motivated attacks against an African-American student at Harrisburg High School last year.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Roman Moore. He graduated from Harrisburg High last May.

Harrisburg Schools Superintendent Dennis Smith said the district would not be responding to the claims in the suit Wednesday because, as of early afternoon, they hadn't been formally served.

The lawsuit points to an incident that allegedly took place in a locker room at Harrisburg High School back on February 16, 2012.

The suit says a noose was hung in that locker room with Roman Moore's name on it and that the students who put it there were never punished.

The suit said the high school principal and district were aware of the incident but did nothing, instead allowing racist acts to continue against the teen.

Local 6 reached out to Roman Moore on Wednesday via Twitter. He told us in a direct message," I'll get back with you after I speak with my lawyer."

Local 6 never heard anything else from Moore.

Our messages with the attorney who filed the lawsuit, Bryan Drew of Benton, Illinois, haven't been returned either. His office staff told us he was busy with a jury trial.

Superintendent Smith said the district's attorney told them it could be a few days before they formally receive the lawsuit.