Photo credits: Blue Valley Northwest High School
A former dance student at a Kansas City area high school is suing her former school district due to blatant racial discrimination she experienced as a member of the Blue Valley Northwest Dazzlers.
Camille Sturdivant (pictured) graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School in May 2018. This public education institution is located in Overland Park, Kansas, a predominantly white suburban town in the northeastern part of the state.
However, the Blue Valley North public school district’s squeaky clean, middle America image has revealed its true colors, which exhibit the age-old problem of institutionalized racism at its finest.
Sturdivant, 18, is suing the school district after an incident that occurred in July of 2017.
At that time, Sturdivant was training as a dance student under the direction of Kevin Murakami, the lead choreographer for the Dazzlers. Sturdivant was one of the only two blacks on the 14-member dance team. The team’s head coach is Carley Fine.
According to Sturdivant’s December 2018 lawsuit filing, Murakami and Fine mutually agreed that the teen had to sit out of an upcoming performance back then. Murakami allegedly told Sturdivant that her skin was too dark and would clash with the team’s costume colors.
Sturdivant remained a member of the Dazzler after being excluded from the performance in question per the lawsuit. The young lady contended that she was racially discriminated against but was brushed off by Fine.
However, Fine and Murakami’s racist communications with one another via text message were exposed after Sturdivant was assigned to use Fine’s cell phone camera to record a May 2018 performance. The cat was out of the bag when this conversation was discovered.
Fine and Murakami were furious after they found out Sturdivant was selected by the University of Missouri’s Golden Girls dance team for the 2018-19 academic year.
“THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I’m so mad,” Murakami texted Fine when he found out about Sturdivant’s college dance team acceptance.
“It actually makes my stomach hurt. Bc she’s f**king black. I hate that,” Fine replied to Murakami. The bigot coach’s foolish slip of the fingers cost her a job at Blue Valley Northwest High School. The litigation in this federal court case is ongoing.