Za’Khari Waddy is an honors student and star of his football team at Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, VA. The 13-year old shouldn’t have a care in the world, except he’s wondering when his principal will address the racism he’s continuing to endure from his classmates.
The young man recently wrote a letter that’s making national headlines. “Yesterday on the football bus coming from our football game a kid started saying racist things to me. He then started saying he does not like blacks and he told me 200 years ago my ancestors hung from a tree and after he said that I should I hang from a tree” the heartbreaking letter read.
— BCNN1 (@bcnn1) November 14, 2015
“That made me super mad, so in the locker room I told him not to call me n—-r or that I should be hung on a tree…I was really mad and they think I was going to fight him but I want someone to do something about it because I’m tired of boys messing with me because of my skin. I’m at my boiling point with this. Please do something about this because when I bring it to the office/principle you do nothing about it and I’m tired of the racism.”
Za’Khari’s mother, Zettrona Powell said the racism has been ongoing for the past three years. “He’s been asked if he was going to rape or rob a young lady, he’s been pushed into lockers and called the ‘N-Word’ on numerous occasions” she said. According to The Dailymail, Zettrona reported these instances to school officials to no avail.
Now that the media has caught wind of the story, the school district has released a statement.
“The York County School Division believes every student is entitled to a safe and welcoming school environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Racism and bullying have no place in our schools and will not be tolerated. Students are given information and counseling on appropriate and acceptable behavior throughout the school year. Additionally, every staff member in the division is required to participate in annual anti-bullying training.”
In an interview with news outlet, WTKR, Za’Khari also added, “It’s not right to judge people on their skin color before you get to know them because you can miss out on how good that person is.”
We applaud Za’Khari’s maturity in the situation! We think the young man has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.