The white adoptive mother of a black, mentally-disabled football player claims she spent months warning his school about racist threats to her children prior to her son's alleged sexual assault at the hands of three of his teammates.Shelly Mc Daniel has filed a million lawsuit against the Dietrich School District after her son, 18, was allegedly held down by one teammate while two others brutally sodomized him with a coat hanger.
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Melissa Towne, 37, who has spent her whole life in the town of about 330 people, says Dietrich is a good place despite the negative attention.
People wave at one another as they pass on the mostly gravel roads, and Towne makes it a point to welcome the occasional new neighbor.
Most residents attend church in the simple Mormon building that marks the town's main entrance.
Family: Shelly Mc Daniel, the white adoptive mother of a black football player, 18, says she warned the school for months about racist threats to her son and children (above with husband Ron and four of their 20 adopted children)The mother of a football player who was allegedly sodomized with a coat hanger by teammates John Howard (left) and Tanner Ward (right) claims she warned the school for months about racist threats to her children The attack came after the woman said she spent months trying to convince school officials that her and her husband's concerns about the repeated racist harassment directed at their children needed to be treated seriously.
The allegations of prolonged racist taunts and physical abuse were revealed this month when the family filed a $10million lawsuit against the Dietrich School District.
It claims the school failed to prevent the abuse even though much of it happened in front of football coaches and school officials.
He told his mother the boys were taunting his older brother, and when the boy came home one day with torn underwear after receiving a 'wedgie' from the boys, Mc Daniel said she decided to go and speak with the school principal.
'The beating of the plaintiff was accompanied by catcalls, taunts and racial epithets of the football players/students in full view of the coaches who not only failed to prevent the abuse but actively promoted it,' the lawsuit states.
The family, which includes 20 adopted children as well as the Mc Daniels' five biological children, was at the center of another controversy just last week when one of their daughters went to visit her father at the high school.
However, other residents of the town that revolves largely around church and school sports say it's a safe and welcoming place.
They're stunned by the allegations, but some are unhappy the family took the district to court.