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2nd Student Leaves Oklahoma City School After Racism, Assault

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"James" is a foreign exchange student from China and said he was forced to leave Centennial High School after he was attacked and taunted by several black students. "James" is a foreign exchange student from China and said he was forced to leave Centennial High School after he was attacked and taunted by several black students.
The alleged assault happened on an Oklahoma City School bus. James said the other students jumped him, beat him and called him several racial slurs. The alleged assault happened on an Oklahoma City School bus. James said the other students jumped him, beat him and called him several racial slurs.

By Rusty Surette, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A second student this week said a bullying incident involving racism forced him to drop out of his Oklahoma City Public School.

The student from China was taken to a hospital after he said black students attacked and taunted him on his school bus.

The foreign exchange student said a group of 13 and 14-year-olds jumped him, beat him and called him several racial slurs. The student shared his story less than 24 hours after another student said she has been dealing with the same problems.

Seventeen-year-old James said he was so terrified about what happened to him last week, he asked to remain anonymous.

"I never talked to those kids before and they want to fight me," James said.

James was enrolled at Centennial High in Oklahoma City, until he was beaten on one of the school's buses. He said the students who attacked him were black and feels the random assault was racially motivated.

"It's not friendly," James said.

Not friendly and certainly not what he said he expected in America. Diane is his host mother.

"He said the kids were picking on him while he was listening to his ear phones, and they started hitting him in his head and they all just jumped him," Diane said.

James said during the assault, the students on the bus yelled racial jokes and slurs.

James' story sounds a lot like what happened to Carrie Holeman's daughter on Monday.

"She did get her head slammed up against a window several times," said Carrie Holeman, whose daughter was attacked on an Oklahoma City Public School bus.

Holeman said her 13-year-old was beaten Monday on board a school bus by black students from John Marshall High School and the bus driver.

"She took her hand, slammed it up underneath Lexi's neck, hard and told her she was not getting off her bus," Holeman said.

Holeman said for two years she has tried to get her daughter out of John Marshall High School because of the racial harassment there but was ignored by the district. She said what happened Monday was the final straw, and her daughter won't be going back.

The incident involving Holeman's daughter is still being investigated by police and the school district. The bus driver, who was also accused of yelling racial slurs and assaulting Holeman's husband, has been taken off her bus route. As for James, four of the students accused in his case have been suspended from school and have been charged with assault and battery.

An expert in race relations at Oklahoma City University said racism isn't necessarily on the rise, but it's just getting more attention in today's political landscape.

"Whether that's a good or bad thing is dependent upon how we manage these issues and this opportunity. Because I see it as an opportunity, an opportunity for us as a community and as a human race to come together with that understanding that we have to become more culturally proficient with regard to one another rather than divisive," said Clinton Normore, OCU Multiculture Student Affairs.

Normore also said it's time that parents and school leaders begin doing more to educate their children about the importance of respecting and accepting others who are different.

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