Lawsuit claims discrimination, racism in Marion Independent School District

Former student, family file lawsuit outlining specific acts of racism, death threats

MARION, Texas – A recent graduate of Marion High School and her mother have filed a discrimination lawsuit against Marion Independent School District, a former district athletic director, and two coaches, the family's lawyer said Monday.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Antonio.

Kyana Fennell alleged in the suit that she and her two younger sisters were the victims of consistent racism during their years spent in the district. 

Their lawsuit cites specifics acts, including a noose left at Fennell's car with a note filled with racist hate speech.

Fennell's younger sister also allegedly received text messages with an animated KKK Klansman swinging a noose.

Attorney Chris Pittard said the environment was one faculty at the school did nothing to change.

"It was a kind of silent condoning," said Pittard. "The students that committed these acts were not disciplined at all."

The family initially pleaded their case before the Marion ISD school board, but no action was taken to fix the situation, according to Pittard.

A criminal case initially opened by the FBI also produced no results, Pittard said.

Two voice-mails were let and an email sent to Marion ISD Interim Superintendent Mario Sotelo. As of late Monday afternoon, Sotelo had yet to respond.

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