"Wigger Wednesday": Black student sues school district alleging racism

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Wigger Wednesday invites students to dress up like gangsta rappers.
A local high school is being sued by a black student over a longstanding student tradition known as "Wigger Wednesday."

Quera Pruitt, a former Red Wing High School student, says seeing her white classmates don do-rags and saggy jeans while throwing gang signs on "Wigger Wednesday" is a form of racial discrimination.

"To her, and frankly to me, 'Wigger Day' is the same thing as 'Nigger Day,'" says her attorney, Joshua Williams.

Each fall semester, the high school traditionally celebrates Homecoming with "Dress Up Days." Pruitt experienced the tradition for the first time when entering her junior year at Red Wing High School.

In 2009, "Tropical Day" was hijacked by a group of 60 to 70 students who declared it "Wigger Day" (also called "Wigger Wednesday" or "Wangsta Day"). On this day, the white kids wore cocked baseball caps, sports jerseys, and gang colors instead of the Hawaiian shirts they were supposed to sport.

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The Wigger Wednesday Facebook group.
After receiving complaints, the principal told the students to change out of their "wigger" wear. In protest, some students started a Facebook page called "Wigger Wednesday."

The description features a sexual epithet that appears to be directed at Pruitt.
"lets keep wigger wednesday goin til that cunt quits."
The incident infuriated Pruitt. Although Wigger Day was never an officially sanctioned school event, Pruitt says teachers and administrators saw the same thing happen the previous year and did nothing to stop it. None of the students who participated were disciplined.

So Pruitt filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, which reached an agreement with then-district superintendent Stan Slessor in September 2010. Slessor agreed to a number of remedies, including a meeting with all African-American students to discuss any incidents of harassment.

The agreement did not specifically address what was to become of "Wigger Day," however.

Nor did it bring the matter to a close. Late last week, Pruitt filed a lawsuit accusing the school's principal, the superintendent, and the district itself of fostering a racially hostile environment.

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