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Bullying, racial slurs lead to Bend school suspensions, expulsions

'They said that we're dumb, we're rapists...'

Bullying, racial slurs at Bend middle...

BEND, Ore. - Several High Desert Middle School Hispanic students said they were targeted by a group of classmates who allegedly used racial slurs, and one parent said she thinks this week's presidential election outcome might have encouraged the hate. 

"They said that we're dumb, we're rapists, we're retarded, we have no jobs," student Brian Zendejas said of Wednesday's incident.

One parent said her son was afraid to go to school Thursday because he feared he would be bullied because of his culture.

Guevara said he stayed home after he heard the news that Republican nominee Donald Trump was the president-elect and feared his friends would be the target the next day. 

"It was exactly as you can imagine, like people were a lot more encouraged to say stuff -- I guess to be more racist which is the same thing," student Francisco Guevara said.

A teacher at the school posted on social media saying the students involved were either suspended or expelled for saying racial slurs. 

Bend-La Pine Schools officials said they can't speak about the incident because of student confidentiality and privacy laws, but provided the following statement to NewsChannel 21:

"We will not allow bullying, harassment or discrimination. We will not tolerate hateful language or behavior. We will not condone any violation of board policy or state or federal laws. Students who are found to be in violation of district policies and our code of conduct will be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion.

"Though we are prohibited by federal law to disclose specific student information without parent consent, I can tell you that we promote non-discrimination and an  environment  free  of  harassment or bullying based  on  an individual's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability, or because of the race,  color,  religion,  sex, sexual  orientation, national origin, marital status, age, or disability of any other persons with whom the individual associates.

"We welcome all views and support students to disagree respectfully. We can help kids work together, collaborate, problem solve, and work with adults to resolve their differences using positive language and approaches. 

"We are focused on providing a welcoming environment where every student feels safe at school."


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