Keeping that school campus "safe"

Imagine getting a call about your daughter at high school – but it’s not from the school, it’s from your kid’s friend. Your daughter has been arrested and injured in the process. You go to the school but no one tells you anything and they can’t tell you where your daughter is. What would you do?

I’d flip out! I would be on the phone with lawyers so fast… but probably I’d lose my cool and start yelling. It looks like that is what happened to Pleajhai Mervin’s mom Latrishia Majors. And Latrishia spent the night in jail over it.

You can watch this video of a security guard Chris Niemeyer breaking this girl’s wrist, calling her nappy headed, and then tackling the other kid who was filming, and throwing him to the ground. Some other kid with a cell phone snapped the photo of the video-ing kid getting taken down.

It is horrible, especially that Pleajhai (whose arm got broken) was then expelled and charged with crimes – of “battering” the guard and of littering!

The guard himself has not been charged with assault, as he should be, and not even fired. He should be the one spending time in jail right now. Not Pleajhai’s mom!

You can also see other adults standing around letting this happen, in the video. They should be fired too. They didn’t protect the students from violence and apparently didn’t even try.

While they’re at it fire the principal for giving such a lame response to the whole incident. You can call her if you like – the phone number is on the web site for Knight High School in Palmdale: (661) 533-9000 ▪ Fax: (661) 533-0111.

And here’s the school district’s contact information: Phone: (661)948-7655 Fax: (661) 726-0673.

Instead of acting, and giving straight answers and an apology, the principal Susan McDougal (not “McDonald” as in the ABC article) talks about keeping students safe. What a lame apology. I guess that guard kept them safe! I guess it keeps all the students at this school “safe” for some thuggish rent-a-cop to throw 14 year olds on the ground because they maybe didn’t clean up well enough after a birthday party food fight!

In an even more shocking development the security guards later had the mother of the girl arrested after she sought out an attorney and demanded that the guard be arrested, telling her that if she wanted the guard detained then she herself would also be charged with battery after she allegedly pushed the guard and an assistant principal of the school. She has also been suspended from her job at another school in the county.

The school expelled Pleajhai for five days before then having her arrested for battery and for littering (the dropping of the cake). Then they had the pupil who captured the video arrested along with his sister who was merely present at the scene.

A walkout is planned for this morning by some students, after which the protesters will call for the firing of the main security guard involved.

The good part, the really heartening part of this story, is the way the kids stood up for each other. Josh Lockett, the 14 year old kid who videotaped, was brave and very very right and smart to take that video. I admire that! And his big sister, Kenngela Lockett, jumped in to defend him when he got thrown to the ground by that racist, scary thug of a “security guard”. She’s brave as hell and I want her on my team.

Also I agree with Francis L. Holland, who says:

I certainly am glad for the AfroSpear’s “Freedom Technology Christmas,” because if a friend of Pleajhai, also arrested, didn’t have a cell-phone with a camera in it at the time, then we wouldn’t have this photograph that proves the brutality that occurred. This AfroSpear blogger encourages Black children everywhere to buy computers and digital cameras for their children, so that their children can document their lives, create blogs and communicate with others about the reality of Black life in the United States of America.

I don’t care who started it, or the kids were out of hand, or what (if anything) Pleajhai said to the guard. That guard is a dangerous and violent criminal who attacks children. And the school and the district should answer for that properly rather than scrambling to cover their asses.

Good for Pleajhai and her mom for speaking up on video, and cheers to the parents and students who are protesting at the school district, planning walkouts, and holding community meetings.

I told my son this story and will show him the video. Moomin stood up, put his hands on his hips, and said, “I think everyone should tell that guy’s boss that he was wrong, and to fire him. Also, I wish I had a remote control that would make TV hero characters come to life and obey my commands.” I’m glad he is just as outraged as I am and I think it’s important to tell little kids these stories about what happens in our country. I emphasized to Moomin how brave the kids were to defend each other, and how smart they were to take the video so they could prove what happened.

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4 Responses to Keeping that school campus "safe"

  1. Deb says:

    horrific! i agree, documentation is a brave, powerful act of witness, especially when outrageous "unbelievable" things like this happen.

  2. Daisy says:

    This security guard was also obviously poorly trained. Anyone in his position needs non-violent crisis intervention training, including the safe holds and restraints — not that this girl needed to be restrained at all.

  3. Oh Baby Gifts says:

    Those rent-a-cops are always punks. If it were up to me i'd grab my kids out of there, expelled or not.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The girl started the whole thing with a food fight. Her arm ISN'T BROKEN. SHE LIED. GET A CLUE what this is about…….$$$$$$