Collingswood, NJ– On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was “racist,” the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy’s mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities.
Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.
“He said they were talking about brownies. . . . Who exactly did he offend?” dos Santos said.
The boy’s father was contacted by Collingswood police later in the day. Police said the incident had been referred to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. The student stayed home for his last day of third grade.
Dos Santos said that her son was “traumatized,” and that she hopes to send him to a different Collingswood public school in the fall.
This has to be one of the most absurd stories to come out in a while. The school grossly mishandled a non-incident and blew it completely out of proportion.
Not only was a third-grader publicly humiliated by being removed from the classroom and interrogated by police, The New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency now has an open case on the family because of what? He referenced a delicious baked good?
Even if he did make an inappropriate comment, why would the school automatically get the police involved? Whatever happened to detention, or (back in my day) a butt-whoopin?
This is something this poor kid is never going to live down, in a time when acceptance by your peers is everything. Hopefully the school will do the right thing and make a public apology. Or at least bake the kid some brownies.
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