The Ganzys, along with two other families, have filed a federal lawsuit in district court against DCSD, its school board, and the principal of CRMS for their inaction to address racism in the schools. The racial hostility and harassment experienced by the students happened so often and in so many different forms that it deprived them of equal educational opportunities.
The Ganzy family is extremely grateful for the donations already provided, but they incurred some unanticipated costs related to the move and the lawsuit, and they can still use more help with back-to-school costs coming up as the kids start fresh in another school district.
Last week, at a DCSD school board meeting, the community first heard from a soft-spoken, intelligent, middle-school student named Jeramiah Ganzy, about the hateful rhetoric and threats that he receives from his classmates on a regular basis.
After Jeramiah spoke at the meeting, many of the comments that followed were tone-deaf to the hate speech he endured. It was so brave for him to tell his story and ask the community to do better.
I heard Jeramiah speak that night, and I met him and his mother Lacey afterwards. As the parent of a future DCSD student, I believe all kids should be able to go to school without the fear of discrimination and hate speech. That’s why I’m starting this GoFundMe.
Jeramiah and his family no longer feel safe going to school in DCSD, nor do they feel welcome in Castle Rock or Douglas County. They want to relocate outside of Douglas County as soon as possible to give Jeramiah and his sisters a fresh start. Lacey, who is a single mom, has missed a lot of work this past week and a half, and she will need to take more time off in order to ensure that Jeramiah is not home alone while he finishes up the semester with online school. ***Update: Lacey was placed on unpaid leave at her job due to time missed***
Thank you for standing up for justice and for helping the Ganzy family start a new life.
See the letter that Jeramiah wrote to the district via a feedback form on its website, asking for help with educating his peers and the staff about racial discrimination and the harm it causes.
Hello, I am a student at Castle Rock Middle School. Recently, I have experienced many instances and suspicions of racial discrimination from students and teachers, and I feel it's starting to become a problem across the school district for me and many others.
I have constantly been racially profiled and offended by students at CRMS. They often use racial slurs near me and many others thinking it's funny, and it makes me feel uncomfortable and unwanted in my school. I have asked multiple times for them stop to no avail. It comes from everyone, and l've been hearing slurs and stereotypes from other kids who go to schools in the area as well. It's a problem that the school is also aware of, as I've heard from staff that a meeting was held on the subject. They still have yet to talk to students about it.
It's no one in particular, it's everyone. It wasn't just today, it's everyday.
There will even be times when staff will be in the area when such discrimination takes place. Nothing is done about the matter.
I feel that our school, along with many others, could use some redirection on how we treat fellow students. I'm just disappointed that this happens so often, and if it keeps coming from students, it's paving a path for students in previous grades, and may never be fixed. I just ask that hate speech be taken more seriously in our district to make the environment more welcoming for students now, and in the future. Thank you.
Jeramiah submitted this feedback form on March 10, and he never heard back from anyone in DCSD.
Hear Jeramiah, his sisters and his mother speak at the school board meeting:
Colorado Community Media – Castle Rock Mom Saya Student Chat Group Threatened Her Son, Used Racial Slurs
Colorado Public Radio - Black and biracial students faced pervasive racism and bullying at Castle Rock Middle School
Newsbreak - Bi-Racial Teen Target of Hate Speech in DougCo Middle School
The Colorado Sun - Castle Rock mom says student chat group threatened her son, used racist slurs
CBS4 – Mom, student allege Castle Rock Middle School group chat evolved into bullying, racism
Denver Post-Teen leaves Castle Rock Middle School after racist slurs and threats, family and attorney say
Organizer and beneficiary
Castle Rock, CO