School Calls Cops After 'Racist' Comment About Brownies

| by Michael Allen

Police were called to William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingwood, New Jersey, on June 16 after a third grader allegedly made a "racist" comment about some brownies at an end-of-the-year class party.

The boy's mother, Stacy dos Santos, said the cops spoke to her 9-year-old son about the alleged comment, which has not been disclosed, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"He said they were talking about brownies," dos Santos told the newspaper. " ... Who exactly did he offend?"

The police said the case had been passed on to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

The boy stayed home for his last day of third grade and was "traumatized," according to dos Santos.

She is planning to send her son to a different public school in the fall but said she wants an apology now.

"I'm not comfortable with the administration [at Tatem]," dos Santos said. "I don't trust them and neither does my child. 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."

According to Superintendent Scott Oswald, the police may have been called as many as five times per day since May in a school district that educates 1,875 students.

Some parents said the cops have been called for very minor incidents, not crimes.

Residents had a meeting with Mayor James Maley and started a petition to tell the Camden County Prosecutor's Office to "stop mandated criminal investigation of elementary school students."

At a meeting on May 25 with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, police and school officials were told to report any incidents at schools that could be considered criminal.

"It was a pretty clear directive that we questioned vehemently," Oswald recalled.

Maley said on June 28 that there was a "misunderstanding" during the May 25 meeting and that the Camden County Prosecutor's Office was concerned about a delay in the reporting of a different incident at the Collingswood High School in the spring.

Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo said in a statement on June 28 that she is working with Maley to clarify the school district and police protocols for reporting and investigating school misconduct, notes the Courier-Post.

Sources: The Philadelphia InquirerCourier-Post / Photo Credit: jeffreyw/Flickr

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