There are enough crazy people out there wandering around that I'm generally very appreciative of school safety procedures and guest policies. Most schools these days require non-staff adults to sign in at the office, and many require some form of identification as well.
But occasionally things get taken too far -- like when Niakea Williams was called to her son's elementary classroom to comfort him. Michael is a special needs student with Asperger's syndrome, and he was beginning to panic, so his teacher frantically called his mom to come soothe him. Williams ended up in handcuffs, and Walnut Groves Elementary School in St. Louis was put on lockdown.
Williams is a known parent at the school, so she was buzzed in right away. She saw a teacher, who immediately took her to her son. While she was consoling Mikey, the principal showed up and informed her that she had violated school policy by not signing in before rushing to comfort her child.
She asked that the book be brought to her so she could sign it but was informed that it was too late and the police had been called.
The school was put on a 12-minute lockdown, and a letter was sent out to parents informing them of the "unauthorized entry" to the school. Geez, can you imagine getting that note in your inbox and having a panic attack that an intruder had made their way onto your kid's campus?
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Williams was arrested and taken to the police station on trespassing charges, which she feels was completely unnecessary, especially given that she had met with the principal the day before about another issue.
So let's examine this -- a known parent of a special needs student, who had met with the school principal the day before, was arrested because she hugged her son before she signed the guest book? Does this seem a little nutso to anyone else?
It's one thing to have solid safety procedures in place, but sometimes a little common sense and discretion is important. You know, like maybe when you have a panicking autistic child of a known parent that just needs some quick TLC from mom.
Do you think the school overreacted here?
Image via Colleen/Flickr