Over-policing ppl w/disabilities, black boys! Law enforcement, Secret Service, play money
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Is law enforcement and the Secret Service needed when a 10 year old has play money? Apparently so, when you are a little boy in Montgomery County Schools.
My son and I recently moved from Central Florida to Montgomery County, MD. My son is a bright, funny little boy. He is also a student with different abilities, and has an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, to help him be academically successful. Like all little boys, he can be mischievous and impulsive, sometimes more so due to his issues.
On May 14, 2019, my son took play money to school (purchased from Amazon). He is excited about money and learning to count "his money." In an attempt for socialization, something he struggles with, he passed it out on the school bus to his peers. The money has bright pink Asian symbols on the front and back, along with dotted lines, so that it can be distinguished as play money.
Later that day, one of the bills was discovered at the bus depot; someone reviewed the bus video footage and someone made the decision to call the police. The police came to the school to question my son; they also called the Secret Service.
I did not know any of this occurred until almost 4 pm, at the end of the school day, when the officer decided to call me. She further let me know that fake/play/counterfeit money is not illegal unless someone tries to spend it; he absolutely did not.
I just don't understand. I reviewed the disciplinary policy on Montgomery County Public School’s website; it makes no mention of what happens even if someone does indeed possess money that could be considered counterfeit. Nothing illegal occurred; who at Montgomery County Public Schools decided this was an offense that was of such a possible imminent danger to others that a call to law enforcement had to be made, instead of a call to mom? Where in their policy does this action support a call to the police for an elementary age child?
No one called me. No one let me know what was going on with my son. I was completely disregarded as my son’s parent. Someone please help me understand why my child with disabilities is being questioned without me knowing or present?
Moving to Montgomery County, specifically Chevy Chase, was scary for me. It is an area that is not very diverse, and my greatest fear was policing of my son. My nightmare has come true.
Kids play with fake money. It's even used as an educational tool. Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County PD, you must not allow this to happen again. You are contributing to the over-policing of minority children. All children do the same things, but non-white children are subject to harsher disciplinary measures. It can't be possible that he's being targeted because of his disabilities, could it? We know policing in this country looks different for those that are suffering with mental illness, a disability, or is a person of color. Which target was it here?
Boys can be boys; unless you are non-white. Then, the rules change. You should have called his very involved, very aware mother, not the police. The climate in this country has mothers and fathers afraid for their children’s very lives. This should never have happened.
Montgomery County prides itself on its work on racial equity. It looks like it’s just lip service.
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