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Student Told She Was Too Dark to Be on Team

Student Told She Was Too Dark to Be on Team

Date22 Jan 2019

Student Told She Was Too Dark to Be on TeamCamille Sturdivant has filed a lawsuit against a school district in Kansas after the choreographer of her dance team allegedly told her that her skin color was too dark to perform.

In July 2017, the choreographer worked with the dance team’s coach, Carley Fine to exclude Sturdivant from performing at an upcoming dance after allegedly saying that “her skin was too dark and the audience would look at her and not the other dancers.” The lawsuit also claims the choreographer said Sturdivant’s skin color clashed with the color of the costumes.

The following September, Sturdivant’s parents met with the school’s principal, Amy Murphy Pressly, to discuss their daughter being left out from the dance. Pressly allegedly said Fine could “pick whoever she wanted to perform in the dances.”

Sturdivant remained on the dance team and was allowed to dance. However, the lawsuit says that Fine was dismissive of her.

In May, Sturdivant was using Fine’s cellphone to play music for the dance team when she saw text messages between the coach and choreographer.

The text message looked like it was discussing Sturdivant’s acceptance letter from the University of Missouri and won a spot on the school’s “Golden Girls” dance team.

“THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I’m so mad,” the choreographer allegedly wrote.

“It actually makes my stomach hurt,” Fine allegedly replied and then added, “Bc she’s f—– black. I hate that.”
Sturdivant’s parent’s showed the text message to the principal and Fine was fired the next day. Even though Fine was told she couldn’t be on school property or have contact with any of the dancers, Sturdivant says she saw her several times at school after her termination.
Porter, Fine, Pressly and the Blue Valley Unified School District are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Sturdivant is requesting a jury trial and seeking an unspecified amount in damages.


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