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Hidden Oaks Middle School accused of enabling racism

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Mother standing next to son with her arm wrapped around him in front of brick building.
Bashenai Loston with her 12 year old son Galmore Jr in front of Hidden Oaks Middle School. (Photo credit: CBJ Jasmine McBride)

Bashenai Loston says her 12 year old son isn’t being properly supported after being called a racist slur at his new school. Loston says her son, Galmore Jr., was recently enrolled in Hidden Oaks Middle School in the Prior Lake School District.

According to his mother, Galmore Jr. was hit by another student and hit the student back. She says Galmore Jr. was then called the N-word and hit again, before being escorted to the office by the assistant principal. Lofton says despite her son exercising self defense and being called a racial slur, he was the only one taken to the office.

“Instead of pulling both students out and taking them to the office, only my son was pulled out. The other student got to continue on with his day. My son is like, ‘What about me? Why can't I go to lunch? Why am I being punished and the other student gets to go to lunch?”

Loston says her son was recently diagnosed with autism, and that the school was made aware that he was being tested for the diagnosis prior to his enrollment. She says she communicated to the school that physical touch is a trigger for her son, and that if triggered, it would be difficult to calm him down.

Loston says she received a phone call regarding the situation after her son began expressing suicidal statements to the assistant principal. She says she was placed on speaker phone by the assistant principal and was asked to calm him down. Loston says her son was overwhelmed both by the altercation and by being singled out.

“He started repetitively speaking, and then he said something along the lines of wanting to kill himself. So that's when she called me. And she explained that the other student pushed my son, my son pushed him back, the other student called him the N-word and pushed my son back. I said, okay, so where's the other student? And she's like, that's not the issue. The issue is that your son got physical.”

Loston says she went to the school immediately.

“I got up to the school and my son is sitting in the backroom in the office in the corner, fidgeting, shaking and crying. She just kept saying, well, I told you getting physical was wrong. She never mentioned anything about the other student calling him the N-word and how it was wrong, and how they were not going to accept it. I looked at my son and I said, ‘come on, let's go.’"

Galmore Jr. returned to school the next day.

Loston says she wrote a letter regarding her concerns and sent it to the school board and administration. She says she was contacted by the principal and was made aware that bullying would not be tolerated, but she says that her son is still facing harassment by the other student. She says her son came home just days after the first altercation saying he’d been threatened again.

“He motioned with his keys to stab my son, he motioned his hands in the shape of a gun to shoot my son. And again, no one intervened. I let them know that the other student was continuing to bully my son and they said that they didn't know anything about it.”

Since sending out the letter, Loston says she has been receiving phone calls with complaints regarding her son’s behavior.

“I think I received a phone call and an email every day from the teachers regarding my son's behavior. I don't know if they are targeting him or what the case may be. But I'm like, so all of a sudden, it's just a coincidence that everyone is having these issues with him now that I wrote the board and stirred up a bunch of mess with the staff at the school," says Loston. “One of the teachers, I specifically asked her, have you always had an issue with him before today? She said no.”

The Center for Broadcast Journalism reached out to the Assistant Principal at Hidden Oaks Middle School, who declined to comment on the matter.

Prior Lake High School, in the same district, made headlines in 2021 when two students made a racist video attacking one of their Black classmates.


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