‘Making the rules up as they go’: Lafayette parents fight expulsions over TikTok videos | Education – New Orleans, Louisiana


New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-01-09 05:00:00 –

Parents of some students at LJ Alemanni Middle School are opposed to the Lafayette parochial school system after saying that their children are facing exile for participating in the exaggerated TikTok video trend.

It is unknown how many students are involved, but the number of parents interviewed is estimated to be 20-30. I feel that school officials have improperly set an example for children.

The five urged them not to name them for fear of retaliation for their children throughout the disciplinary process.

Lawyers Pat Magee and G. Shelly Maturin II said they represent some of the families involved and find the handling of district cases awkward.

“They’re building up the rules as they go … this is all new, so like any other organization, they made some mistakes, but the problem is that I don’t want to say this was wrong now. We’re mistreating these kids, so let’s take a step back and take a breather to find a way to fix this for all our kids, “Maggie said.

“The actions of the LJ Alemanni administration and the Child Welfare Department were very disturbing on their knees,” Maturin said in an email statement.

Acadiana Advocate contacted the Lafayette Parish School System for comment, but did not receive a response by the press time.

At least two TikTok videos are at the center of the controversy.

Six parents said they weren’t seeing the video in question from school officials. We believe that the videos in question were stitched together when the children were first suspended from campus until the dropout trial was held, or after disciplinary action was taken.

The video shows two different groups of students dancing and gesturing to different songs. Rapper Nardo Wick’s “Who Want Smoke ??” When A remixed version of “SPINBACK WEARK” by 279 empirebeats.. One is a video taken by a member of the women’s basketball team in the locker room, and the other is a compilation of videos around the LJ Aleman campus.

One video is dated December 2nd. The second one has no date, but parents whose daughter belongs to the women’s basketball team said the video was shot on December 15 after basketball practice while parents were holding a meeting to discuss the season. I said I believe.

In the video, as part of the video trend, children are waving at the camera, making gestures, making finger guns, waving open hands, and using mobile phones to imitate guns. increase. Similar videos set for the song can be found on TikTok, including those featuring college and professional athletes.

“I’d like to say this loudly and proudly on the hill, but I think LPSS is trying to set an example for these kids and make them look like they’ve dealt with a threat that didn’t even exist.” The 8th grade daughter is one of the disciplined students.

The six parents interviewed said on December 16th that their children were involved in the TikTok video on a phone call from Alleman’s school administrator. Discipline code 70, violent assault and crime of assault.. They will need to bring their children out of school for out-of-school suspension while waiting for the recommended dropout hearing.

“It wasn’t an assault. It wasn’t a battery. It wasn’t violent, the code used and the level of violations associated with that code were completely unjustified, unfair and horrifying,” said one mother. Said.

Six parents said they believed that the harsh reaction to the video was colored by a larger event that took place around the school and district during the week of December 16.

Parents reported receiving messages generated by multiple schools and districts referring to rumors of improper behavior on campus and threats of the week, and the children were also informed of the physical battles that took place at school. rice field.

of December 14th report from KLFYThe television station reported that the student argued with Principal Eric Lucett, and as a result, the concerned social media posts increased the presence of law enforcement agencies in the school.

On December 16th, after students were evacuated from Alleman’s campus District sent notice to parents and the general public He warned of “national TikTok trends threatening gun violence in schools” and assured parents that “no school has a credible threat.” Director Irma Trosclair also warned his parents that any threat, including hand gestures, would lead to expulsion.

Parents said they believed that context was important when watching the video and deciding on proper discipline. The video captions, listed hashtags, audio and visuals do not contain any explicit threat to the school. It does not target any particular individual or imply potential violence. The video has nothing to do with these bigger threats or the possible “gun challenge”. “

“Unfortunately, because of the social climate in which we live, we can’t easily let children play or shoot police officers and robbers. It’s a very delicate topic and for good reason. So it’s not appropriate … but there was no threat. Everyone would see this and feel like they weren’t worried at all, “said one parent.

“I don’t think it’s fair that this country can’t control this school shooting, so I’m choosing a random kid to save my face at school. I totally disagree,” said a kid on the basketball team. The exiled mother said.

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Parents said they and their children have been suffering from emotional confusion since December 16th. One of her mothers said her stress caused a sustained rise in her blood pressure and required her to start her dosing. Some said they were considering enrolling their children in counseling. Because they are often crying, suffering from sleep, and withdrawal from positive and highly accomplished children.

“”[My daughter is] You can’t really handle this emotionally. I think that affects the trust in the adults around her. She feels she doesn’t know if she always needs to feel like she’s guilty of something. She is not very confident in doing something wrong. She doesn’t feel comfortable at school. She feels she is considered a criminal and she doesn’t understand why, “Charles said.

“She cries a lot, but I tell her everything will be better. I try to stay positive, but at the same time I cry in the bathroom because I don’t know what this will be for her. “I am,” said one second-year middle school mother.

Maggie, a Lafayette lawyer who currently represents the three children involved in disciplinary action, said that the school and Lafayette parochial school system mishandled the disciplinary process, did not consistently apply procedures, and communicated. Said he believed that was inadequate. The same concerns were repeated by the interviewed parents.

According to Maggie, the client initially had little contact with the severity of the punishment, inconsistent contact from the district during the process, and little explanation at each stage. A similar experience was shared by Maturin and a family represented by another lawyer.

Parents interviewed said school officials conducted a threat assessment on their children in accordance with the requirements associated with Code 70 disciplinary action. However, parents said they were not informed until it was implemented, and they were asked alone by school counselors about topics such as suicidal ideation and whether they were accessible to them. Weapons of their home that knew the rating only when informed.

Only parents whose students completed the discipline hearing reported that they received a copy of the assessment.

Maggie and her parents, who had the children’s hearing, have already stated that the hearing officers appointed by Ruckett and the district changed the criminal law applicable to the children during the hearing. In each case, it was changed from code 70 to code 21. Other serious violations without reasonable explanation.

In some cases, they said the hearing was postponed with little notice or explanation.

Stacey Charles’ daughter postponed the hearing and was initially told to suspend her until the hearing, but the 13-year-old daughter was allowed to return to mainstream classes instead, the mother said. For her, her decision to return the children waiting for discipline to class further undermines her claim that the children pose a danger, Charles said.

“”[The hearings were] Absolute dog and pony show. The results were predetermined. It was, at best, a legitimate and humorous attempt … all students received the same results. Some may think that’s right, but I don’t think each student was judged not only about the benefits of their case, but also about their previous disciplinary action and grades. “Maggie said.

“My clients understand that the kids have done something wrong, and they understand that the kids need to influence their behavior, but their All of the stance is that the results don’t even get close enough to fit the action, “he said.

A parent whose 14-year-old daughter is on the basketball team said it would be difficult to see her hope crushed when she was banished for 30 days before a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.

“She loves school. She was ironing her uniform because she knew she was coming back the Friday before … I thought she was going back to school, so I had a bag of books and a Chromebook. It didn’t go as expected, “the mother said in tears.

Parents and two other families who said their daughter was banished on Tuesday said they were appealing for disciplinary action. The school district’s disciplinary policy allows parents to appeal their child’s withdrawal to the school board within five lesson days.

Maggie said the two clients who held the disciplinary hearing will appeal, but the process is not that simple. At their hearing, the student’s withdrawal from campus was structured as a “relocation” rather than withdrawal, and lawyers and families were informed that their complaint went to the director rather than the school board. Maggie said he plans to promote a school board hearing.

Exiled students are effectively attending the district’s alternative learning site, Le Rosen Preparatory School, while families wait for their complaints to be heard. The two mothers expressed concern that the online curriculum was different from the Alemanni curriculum, and in some cases the girl was learning a completely different material. One parent said his 14-year-old daughter had changed from the history of Louisiana to the history of the world.

The women said they were scared of what detours meant for their daughters’ education — how long would they be late when they returned to the mainstream classrooms? Will their grades be hit? How will expulsion chase them in the future?

The 13-year-old parents, who were banished on Tuesday, said it had already influenced her high school options.

A second-year middle school student dreaming of becoming a pediatrician wanted to attend the Health Care Academy at Lafayette High School. The application for the Magnet Academy was closed this Wednesday, after which her family received an email stating that their child was “ineligible for discipline,” her mother said.

Her mother said the damage has moved beyond the school setting and is affecting the reputation of teenagers in the community.

“”[People] Seeing our kids like bad kids, and they don’t look like good kids because they don’t have all the facts and haven’t seen the video … There are some people who commented and now, in our neighborhood, I heard that my daughter was banished from school, so I stopped her from being around the children, “she shed tears. Said while saying.

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‘Making the rules up as they go’: Lafayette parents fight expulsions over TikTok videos | Education Source link ‘Making the rules up as they go’: Lafayette parents fight expulsions over TikTok videos | Education

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