Black tennis player, High School, Sue

High School Tennis Player Sues SC School District For Racial Discrimination After Allegedly Being Used As ‘Target Practice’ 

So glad this student spoke up!

Horry County Schools in South Carolina has a lawsuit on their hands as a Black high school student is accusing them of racial discrimination. 

Court documents reveal that Crystal Dozier filed the lawsuit on Mar. 16 on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter. Dozier’s daughter was a former student at Green Sea-Floyds High School (GSFHS) and a member of the tennis team. 

The teen, who was identified in the suit as NC, responded to a flier posted by tennis coach Krysten Webster encouraging students to join the team. Webster, who is white, is being accused of initially “refusing to respond” to the teen’s interest in joining and she was only allowed to participate after Dozier intervened.  

The practice began in July 2023 under the instruction of an assistant coach while Webster was out of town. The suit claims NC was “immediately beset with racial discrimination” once Webster returned. According to the suit, the coach allowed NC’s all-white teammates to use her as “target practice” every day, causing “great distress and emotional harm” to the plaintiff

After Dozier approached the coach in August 2023 to find out how her child could become better at the sport, Webster allegedly laughed in her face and walked away. Similar instances reportedly occurred when NC approached Webster to discuss her feelings of being discriminated against based on her race, and the coach reportedly berated the teen, dismissed her concerns, and told her to come back another time to discuss the matter further.

The student returned for a meeting that, this time, included GSFHS assistant principal Mary Price, listed as a defendant in the suit, and an Indian student with matching concerns. During the meeting, Webster allegedly became argumentative with NC and berated her yet again, resulting in accusations of disregarding concerns of racial discrimination and verbal assault. 

NC called her mother up to the school that same day, where the lawsuit accuses Price and principal Nick Harris of cornering Dozier in an office after they claimed NC was the one being aggressive and violent during the meeting earlier in the day

The student later self-dismissed herself from the tennis team “due to the racial abuse” before Dozier met with Price with a recording of the meeting held with her, NC and Webster – to which Price reportedly admitted lying about NC’s behavior and apologized. After another meeting was held with Harris, Webster, Dozier and the student’s stepfather, Harris allegedly said he wanted to end their complaints.

However, Dozier wrote a letter to the school district, listed as a fellow defendant in the suit, and the School Board, complaining of racial discrimination. After the letter was sent, according to ABC News 4, a district investigator conducted a superficial investigation and revealed the bias coming from the coach but claimed she “didn’t know any better.”

NC started to suffer from bullying, with teachers allegedly saying “shame on her ” as she walked down the hallways. The principal is accused of allowing it to happen after refusing to intervene. The suit says the retaliation NC faced was ” in violation of Title VI,” also resulting in her withdrawing from the school on Jan. 24.  

In a brief statement, Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said, “HCS does not comment on matters related to pending litigation.”

In addition to a jury trial, plaintiffs are seeking actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and “any and all remedial action as justice requires as authorized by Title VI.”