A Mt. Pleasant Middle School parent is accusing the district of strip searching her son and placing him in isolated suspension.
On Monday, the sixth grader joined a protest against the school with the National Parents Union. The group said they have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“He was asked to remove articles of his clothing, pull his pants down, remove shirts, you know. His skin was showing and he, he will tell you himself, he feels humiliated,” said Cheyenne Johnson, Xavier’s mom.
Johnson said her 11-year-old son Xavier Miles was strip searched twice at Mt. Pleasant Middle School in early November after students and staff thought he had a gun.
After an altercation with other students about a week later, Xavier had in-school suspension.
“But when he got to school, it wasn’t in-school suspension. He was locked in an isolated room. There were no desk, no teacher, no chair, no schoolwork. He was sitting on the floor,” Johnson said.
The 11-year-old shot a video, obtained by TV5, while in that room.
“All’s I want is my child to be able to receive an education just like any other child. Like he has barriers. He needs a little bit of extra help, but that doesn’t mean that he should be locked in a room,” Johnson said.
This incident comes nine months after 7-year-old Jurnee Hoffmeyer had her hair cut by a Mt. Pleasant staff member.
"There needs to be accountability behind what has taken place with Jurnee Hoffmeyer and behind Xavier. The district has failed to hold itself accountable," said Christina Laster, director with the National Parents Union. "Because there seems a pattern and a history of poor practices that would really constitute discrimination against the black, brown, and indigenous children and families."
In a statement to TV5, Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Verleger said "Our initial review showed the allegations are without merit. Having said that, we have also asked a third party to review the allegations raised by the parent."