Student-athlete files discrimination lawsuit against American Heritage after expulsion

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida student’s expulsion at American Heritage School is causing outrage, leading the teen’s mother to file a discrimination lawsuit. Now they’re getting some star support.

Cyrus Nance is a black basketball player who was expelled from American Heritage School. His single, hard-working mother, Angela Cross, is calling foul and taking legal action.

This comes after the girls’ basketball coach, who is white, berated Nance and his friends while they were on the basketball court. The coach claims they were not allowed.

The discrimination case has garnered the support of Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

Nance is a good student and a skilled basketball player with a bright future, according to his family and friends.

The teen decided to play his senior year at American Heritage in Plantation.

“He was like, ‘Mom, I’m gonna make you proud,'” said Cross said before getting choked up.

Cross has made sacrifices in order for her son to attend the private school. She decided to work there on the cleaning staff.

“I have to look out for his future,” Cross said. “Me.”

On Nov. 13, those hopes and dreams came crashing down when Nance was expelled.

“Senior Cyrus Nance and a couple of his friends were on the basketball court when they should not have been, shooting hoops during the girls’ team practice,” said attorney Benjamin Crump.

Nance was playing on the court with Wade’s children and other players from the men’s varsity basketball team.

Wade’s son, Zaire Wade, reportedly also had problems with that same coach.

“The girls’ basketball coach stormed over and yelled at these young men of color for being on the court and used inappropriate language,” Crump said.

Nance spends weekends with Wade, Union and their family.

They have since hired Crump to represent the student. They said a written notice was not given to Nance’s mother about the expulsion.

Wade and Union released a statement through their attorney, Sue Ann Robertson, that reads, “Our family believes in getting to the truth with effective, timely communication. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and we refuse to stand by and allow a bright, black child with a bright future to be seen as disposable.”

“Disposable” because of Nance’s socioeconomic status, they said, and that’s not fair.

“I just don’t understand why. If a person is for the children, then, he’s a child. Who are you for?” said Cross.

The school said the allegations are false. They released a statement that reads in part, “A full investigation was done in this matter, including review of a video of the incident, and the evidence clearly supported the school’s disciplinary action, which involved more than using profanity toward a coach. American Heritage does not engage in discrimination and has a very diverse population.”

The statement goes on to say, “We will not apologize for upholding our standards and will be fully prepared to defend any claims in court if necessary.”

The Wade family said they want to review the video. They’re also upset that Cross has not received her son’s transcripts. They said she is being forced to pay a $600 fee and sign a nondisclosure agreement.

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