Police are used to being called to all kinds of unusual, and sometimes odd, situations. Yet, on June 16th, they never expected to show up at this unbelievable location, an elementary school.
The police were reacting to a request from the William P. Tatem Elementary school in Collingswood, New Jersey. Apparently, the whole calamity began all because of brownies being served at the end-of-the-year class party.
It was announced that a third grader had made an obscure remark about the brownies, another classmate eavesdropped and maintained that it was, in fact, a prejudiced comment. The school concluded they needed to get the police involved.
The police officers sat down and talked with the 9-year old boy who made the supposed bigoted remark, along with his mother, Stacy Dos Santos. Stacy Dos Santos stands by her son and maintains that the school totally exaggerated and her little boy would never do such thing, he just made a remark about the snacks.
He was simply discussing brownies, who precisely did he insult?
The drama proceeded to unfold as the police later communicated with the boy’s father and then referred it to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, but the 9-year-old was traumatised, according to his mum, he even stayed home from his last day of school. Stacy Dos Santos even wants to put her child in a new school come the fall.
That’s not all, she demands an apology from the school.
She is not satisfied with the administration at Tatem. She does not trust them and neither does her child. He was frightened, there was a police officer there with a piece in his holster speaking to her son, questioning him on what he had said and he didn’t have anybody on his side.
The episode got wind throughout the neighbourhood and it quickly sparked outrage and parents are shocked that events such as this could have quickly been managed by the school and by no means justified police attention.
The Superintendent of the school area, Scott Oswald, stated that police have just been requested up to 5 times a day in a community of just 1,875 pupils and this has generated justifiable attention amongst the parents.
Parents have started a petition to stop mandated criminal investigation of elementary school students.
Kids frequently say stuff that might be improper or are not politically correct and that can lead to extremely awkward situations, but they’re simply kids who are mastering the habits of knowledge but it’s up to schools and parents to oversee their children onto the correct path and to demonstrate why we can’t say specific things simply because they appear to be politically incorrect.
If kids are going to get offended because another student wants to discuss the ‘brownie’, then just change its name and name it something else, but it’s a system that has gone barking mad because it appears that when somebody now says something we all appear to require a legal counsellor in our corner, shortly it’s going to be part of the school program.
A meeting on May 25th involving the police, school administrators, and the Prosecutor’s office confirmed that schools would call the police concerning any criminal conflicts, including as minor as a simple name-calling episode that the school would typically manage within.
Whether this little boy name called or not, it was merely a simple incident that did not require the police and could have just been dispensed with between the school and the boy’s parents, and this was really a strain on resources for the police department.
They further chose to report just about every incident to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Only a couple of months later, the directive is being seriously reviewed. It has gone way too far.
Parents worry that the extended police engagement is not benefiting their children, in fact, it’s absurd.
Some of it is really normal little-kid behaviour and the school are presently uncomfortable managing these sorts of circumstances or merely don’t know how to control such situations.