By Victor Trammell A New York federal court panel upheld a $1 million dollar judgement against the Pine Plains Central School District in Duchess County on Monday. The grounds of the original lawsuit was racial harrassment. The plaintiff in the suit was Anthony Zeno, a former student at Stissing Mountain High School in Pine Plains, New York. The award was reduced from the $1.25 million a jury originally awarded during a 2010 trial. Zeno, now 23, works as a barber and endured severe racial harrassment, according to the opinion of the appeals court. The court agreed that the half-white, half-latino male was “threatened, menaced, and taunted” by white students at a school where minorities made up less than five percent of the student population. According to the Associated Press, the final opinion statement (written by federal appeals Judge Denny Chin) said that Zeno’s life was in danger as a result of the repeated incidents of racial hatred. Anthony Zeno’s attorney, Stephen Bergstein was pleased with the ruling and said that “it will help a lot of kids.” Bergstein also told reporters: “ Districts will put better programs in place, keep a better eye out on the kids that are being harassed. The school was reactive, and you have to be proactive.” (Associated Press) The harrassment of Zeno began in February 2005 when he transferred to Stissing Mountain High School from a high school in Long Island. His terrible experiences went on for three and a half years. Upon immediate arrival, Zeno was repeatedly taunted and called racial slurs. Ths incidents escalated later when a fellow football teamate beat him with fists. One white student threatened to kill him and rape his sister. There was graffiti sprayed in the bathroom that read, “Zeno will die.” A noose was displayed at the school along with a message threatening to take Zeno to the nearest tree. White students also filled his locker with garbage. The school district did little to curtail the harrassment. One student was placed in another school and a few others were suspended for five days.