An end-of-the-year class party for third-graders at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood, New Jersey ended badly when school officials called the police – all because of something one of the children said about the treats being served.
A third-grade boy in the class made a comment about the brownies being served to the children, according to Philly.com News. They do not report what the boy actually said about the brownies, but another student complained that his comment was “racist”, so school officials called the police.
A police officer came and spoke with the 9-year-old boy, whose father is Brazilian. The boy’s mother, Stacy dos Santos, said the school completely over-reacted, and she wants an apology. “He said they were talking about brownies… who exactly did he offend?” she asked.
Mrs. Dos Santos said her son was traumatized by the incident, and she hopes to send him to a different school in the fall. “I’m not comfortable with the administration at Tatem. I don’t trust them and neither does my child,” she said. “He was intimidated, obviously. There was a police officer with a gun in the holster talking to my son, saying, ‘Tell me what you said.’ He didn’t have anybody on his side.”
It didn’t end there. The Collingswood police contacted the boy’s father later in the day and said the incident had been turned over to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
The child did not go back to school for his last day of third grade.
Some parents are outraged over the incident, which happened on June 16th. It was just one of several times in the last month when the police have been called over school incidents that parents say are not deserving of criminal investigation.
The parents have called their elected officials, met with the mayor, blasted social media message boards, and launched an online petition demanding that the school stop the criminal investigations against elementary students.
“I don’t want this to happen to another child,” dos Santos said.
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