On March 7, 2014 Selina Garcia, a senior at Southeast Raleigh high school was suspended from school because of allegations that she committed level II infractions. Her administrator suspended her for 5 days, noting mitigating factors including prolonged and explicit harassment by the other student involved in the incident. However, the School Resource Officer, which are employed by Raleigh Police Department, decided that this wasn’t enough – said that she needed to “learn a lesson,” and so he arrested her and took her to jail. Despite the fact that she posed NO safety threat to the school environment, the officer made the conscious choice to criminalize her. He didn’t care that she wanted to focus on graduating this Spring, and needed to be in school to accomplish that goal – all that mattered was asserting his dominance and “teaching her a lesson”
When the SRO arrested her, he likely thought that she would go to jail for a couple hours and then be picked up by her family. But, 19 days later and counting, there’s no end in sight for her:
For 19 days, she has been dehumanized, stripped of all sense of pride or dignity
For 19 days, no one has called her by her name – they simply call her #34
For 19 days, she has lived among adult women who are drugged into oblivion so that they can be “controlled,” striving to keep herself together so that she doesn’t have to be similarly medicated
For 19 days, she has been the only high school female in a jail that isn’t equipped for students, sitting in an empty “classroom” on only 2 occasions without computer access for her online gradpoint classes, falling farther and farther behind
When you’re in foster care, no one HAS to come pick you up, even when there’s no bail to pay. When you’re in foster care, an arrest can cause you to get kicked out of the closest thing to a home you have, leaving your future even more uncertain. When you’re in foster care, an arrest can make you lose scholarship grants from DSS that would provide you with your only real option to go to college.
She has faced all of these repercussions based only on allegations of level II misconduct at school, but neither the SRO nor the school officials who have subjected her to these punishments face any repercussions for their actions. Sign to demand action NOW!