Choreographer, coach deny saying student’s skin ‘too dark’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (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.

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