In January 2020, a parent called Honowai Elementary School in Honolulu to complain about the girl’s drawing and asked staff to call the police, the ACLU said.
When police arrived, the girl, who was only identified as “NB”, was “handcuffed with excessive force and taken to the police station,” the ACLU said.
The girl’s mother, Tamara Taylor, said she was called to school, but was not allowed to see her daughter or informed that the girl had been “handcuffed in front of staff and her staff. peers, placed in a police car and taken away ”.
“I was deprived of my rights as a parent and my daughter was deprived of her right to protection and representation as a minor. There was no understanding of diversity, of Afro-culture. America and the history of police involvement with African American youth. My daughter and I are traumatized by these events and I am disheartened to know that this day will live with my daughter forever, “Taylor said in a statement shared by the ACLU on its behalf.
The Honolulu Police Department told CNN on Tuesday it was “reviewing the letter and would work with the company’s attorney to respond to the allegations.”
A spokesperson for the Hawaii DOE said the agency had no comment at this time.
In the letter, the ACLU said the girl had “allegedly participated in the drawing of an offensive sketch of a student in response to that bullying student.”
In the days following her arrest, the young girl told her mother that she drew the picture but that several other students participated in the coloring and writing, the group said in the letter.
The girl said “she didn’t want the drawing delivered, but one of the other students snatched it from her hands and delivered it anyway,” the ACLU said in the letter.
A copy of the drawing or other details of what it depicts were not disclosed. CNN contacted Honowai Elementary School and the ACLU to determine what the drawing represented, but did not get a response immediately.
The ACLU is giving the school and the police until Nov. 8 to respond.
Black girls are often treated like adults, advocates say
The ACLU and a family attorney called the actions of Hawaii school staff and police “extreme and disproportionate” and said they suggested the girl and her mother had been singled out and discriminated against because of of their race.
Mateo Caballero, a lawyer representing the family, the way his clients have been treated is “too common and entirely preventable”.
Black students made up 15% of the student body, nearly 29% of law enforcement referrals, and 31% of all students arrested at school or during a school-related activity.