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Oct 29, 2013 11:52 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Parents: Harassment, racism and bigotry rampant at Ironwood High

TUCSON - Complaints of harassment and derogatory language are being investigated at Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson.

Concerned parents reached out to News 4 Tucson, saying their children have faced discrimination. These parents say the harassment is racially motivated. They say it's happening on campus, during after school sports, and on social media.

To protect their identity, we won't use their names.

The family says their two children have been the victims of hate crimes because they're black; everything from food thrown at them in the cafeteria, name calling, the 'N word' being put on Facebook and written on desks.

They've filed complaints over five years, but say little is being done to stop the harassment.

The children's father describes the problem, "Not only the children who are bulling the other race children, but the administration who thinks this is just not a problem."

While mom says, "It makes me sad that we have come so far, but have gone so backwards."

On Monday, the principal announced a school assembly to address racial complaints.

Some students took to Twitter, posting photos of the KKK, others encouraging upperclassmen wear white clothing. Another student writes "Senior prank: someone play 'My N' on the announcements tomorrow during the assembly."

What do Amphi district officials say?

While our request for an on camera interview was denied, in a statement they say, "Upon learning about the allegations, the district office started an immediate investigation," it went on to say, "We are continuing to interview students."

A concerned father says, "This probably is just a band aid, on a hole in a dam."

He says the effort may be too little, too late. Four black football players this season alone have transfered schools.

Now other families, black and hispanic who met with the NAACP and the principal last week, are contemplating their children's future.

"This is not something that they can just brush under the rug, and all of us will just leave the school," says a concerned mom.

Her husband says, "Does my child still attend Ironwood Ridge High School, does my child find an alternative school to go to?"

Concerned parents also say their children have missed school days because of threats against them.

Here's more from Amphitheater Public Schools:

"We are extremely troubled about complaints of racially based harassment and derogatory language toward some of our students at Ironwood Ridge High School. We take these allegations very seriously. Upon learning about the allegations, the District Office started an immediate investigation. Our Equal Opportunity Officer is taking a comprehensive approach to the investigation. We are continuing to interview students. Any students found to have been involved in harassment or making derogatory remarks or threats have been, or will be, disciplined."

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