Choreographer, coach deny saying student's skin 'too dark' - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Choreographer, coach deny saying student's skin 'too dark'

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -

The former coach and a choreographer for a Kansas high school dance team are denying they prevented a black student from performing during an event because her skin was "too dark" and clashed with the costumes.

Former student Camille Sturdivant has sued the Blue Valley School District, alleging she was discriminated against after complaining about how she was treated.

Choreographer Kevin Murakami released a statement Tuesday saying the allegation was "absolute nonsense." He says he treated all dancers with respect.

The lawsuit also alleges Murakami and former coach Carley Fine exchanged racist text messages about Sturdivant after she was named to the University of Missouri dance team. Fine was fired a day after the principal became aware of the messages.

Fine told WDAF-TV the accusations are "false and/or misleading." She says her lawyers told her not to comment further.


Previous story:

A black student is suing a Kansas school district, alleging that she was told she couldn't perform with a school dance team during a school event because her skin was "too dark."

Camille Sturdivant alleges in a lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District that she suffered racial discrimination and was ostracized from dance team events after she complained about how she was treated because of her race.

The Kansas City Star reports Sturdivant graduated in May 2018 from Blue Valley Northwest High School, where she was one of two black students on the 14-member Dazzlers dance team.

She also contends the dance team's coach was fired last year because of racial comments she made about Sturdivant.

The school district said in a statement that it doesn't tolerate discrimination.
 

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