A parent in Hawaii was upset by a drawing made by a 10-year-old Black girl. In response, the parent went to the school and demanded staff call the police on the girl –– which they did.
The girl, identified as NB in court documents, was handcuffed "with excessive force" and taken to the police station, all before her mother could get to the school. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii is filing a lawsuit.
The incident took place in January 2020, after a parent went to the Honowai Elementary School in Honolulu in response to a drawing made by the Black girl that depicted another student who was bullying her. The parent demanded school staff contact police, who, according to a report by CNN, handcuffed the girl "in front of staff and her peers, placed in a squad car and taken away" to a jail.
The ACLU says the girl wasn't the only student involved in the "offensive sketch" and that she hadn't intended the drawing to get to the student who bullied her, but that another student involved "snatched it" and took it to the accused bully anyway.
Tamara Taylor, the girl's mother, said she was called to the school but was denied seeing her daughter and wasn't informed of her daughter's arrest.
"I was stripped of my rights as a parent and my daughter was stripped of her right to protection and representation as a minor," Taylor said in a statement shared by the ACLU.
"There was no understanding of diversity, African American culture and the history of police involvement with African American youth. My daughter and I are traumatized from these events and I'm disheartened to know that this day will live with my daughter forever."
On Monday (October 18), the ACLU sent a letter to the Honolulu Police Department, state Department of Education, and state attorney's office seeking policy changes, record expungement for the 10-year-old, and $500,000 in damages for "harm and suffering."
The police say they're reviewing the letter and "will be working with Corporation Counsel to address these allegations."
The ACLU is giving the school and police until November 8 to respond.
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