Casey County Middle School racial incident victim's sister speaks out

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 18:16:36-04

CASEY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — An incident at Casey County Middle School that hit social media late last week shows an African American student put in a chokehold by another student. The incident led to charges being filed.

The victim's family is speaking out after the racial incident at Casey County Middle led to charges of strangulation and assault in the fourth degree. When the victim's sister, Dontashia Southerland, heard the news, she was shocked.

"I was absolutely disgusted because how are you gonna let something like that go on?" asks Southerland.

Following the incident, she says her brother didn't have much to say. In a follow-up with the Liberty Police Department, Chief Steven Garrett shared that no additional charges have been brought forth at this time. The student resource officer is still getting statements and going through the video.

Southerland says she experienced her own racism at Casey County Schools - much like the incident with her brother.

"There's been multiple times where it’s been racist and I’ve been attacked and, I’ve been told that, 'it's fine just don't do it again, just give them like a pat on the back don't do it again,'" recalls Southerland.

Southerland says she attended Casey County Schools beginning in third grade. She remembers that racial slurs being used often wasn't uncommon. The siblings’ father passed away shortly before this incident. Racism at the school was something they discussed briefly before his death.

Her brother once shared his friends "jokingly called him the n-word and dad goes that's not a joke."

After that, Sutherland said she talked to her parents about her experience while attending Casey County.

LEX 18 reached back out to Casey County Schools to see if more disciplinary action had been taken.

The superintendent, Barry Lee, shared, "No further information can be released due to all parties involved are juveniles. The focus now is a unified effort to continue reinforcing the core values and school-wide expectations for students to be respectful, show integrity, have a safe learning environment, and excel in every aspect of being a successful student."

Casey County Court’s Designated Workers were also not able to share the juvenile's information.

Dontashia Southerland wants to spread awareness.

"We all deserve to be treated the same," she says. "No one should be able to get more than the other person. No one should be able to get treated just because of the skin...color of their skin, than the other person. And it’s just something that shouldn't be done."

Southerland shared that her mother is taking legal action after this incident. Now, she believes that her mom and brother are considering having him change school districts.