SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — A Santa Clarita mother was joined by the NAACP and other parents Thursday to demand an apology and action from the Saugus Union School District after her 7-year-old son was accused of having a gun in his backpack.
Thea-Marie Perkins filed a complaint with the district saying her son, Solomon, was bullied and falsely accused by another child of having a gun in his backpack at Tesoro del Valle Elementary School.
“I’m here on behalf of my son who has been criminalized,” Perkins said at a Thursday news conference.
According to Perkins, on Thursday, Feb. 13th, Solomon told the other child that he received a Nerf Torpedo toy for Christmas, which she believes was then “re-phrased” by the child accused of bullying Solomon.
Perkins said even though a gun wasn’t found in Solomon’s backpack, the principal called the sheriff’s department who then questioned her son was questioned without her present.
“Once the administrator immediately checked my son’s backpack which I completely understand, without me being present, and noticed there were only Valentine’s cards, why then would she call the sheriff?” Perkins said. “By the time a staff member called me, they had already violated my son’s rights, my rights.”
The District released a statement which read in part:
“The student’s parents were notified that their child had been detained and were being interviewed by sheriff’s deputies.”
Perkins claimed that the principal didn’t acknowledge the fact that the accusation was false and wanted the district to be held accountable.
“They should’ve responded immediately with an apology. I requested a community apology and to state it was not true,” she said. “I certainly believe there has to be corrections made immediately, there has to be changes made.”
Darrell Goode with the NAACP said, “There is direct or indirect systemic racism or bias in how this child was treated. That’s why we want to meet with them.”
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department released a statement saying:
“The responding deputies made contact with the student and enlisted additional resources to evaluate his emotional and mental wellness. Not only did the deputies have a duty to protect the other children present at the school, but were also obligated to ensure the safety of the student involved.”
No date had yet been set for the rescheduled meeting.