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San Francisco | Education & Student Activism

Unified School District Targeting Black Single Mothers.
by Marion Banks
Friday Jul 12th, 2013 4:15 PM
I have submitted articles with both of your papers before; I have worked with Tiny and SFBay View, articles like Parkmereced and Vista Delmonte.

I have been researching on CPS cases reported by the San Francisco public school system most of the cases are against single black mothers, most of the cases are unfounded. I believe this issue should be known. Please include the picture attached.

Thanks,
Marion Merriouns
In writing this article, I had many reservations on retaliation against my children from the Unified School District. However, if I do not say anything more single Black mothers will continue to be harassed by the public schools system. The problem Child Protective Services is receiving reports from San Francisco public school administrators, against Black singles mothers. Many of the reports filed by public schools are allegations of neglect. Under the Unified School District, public schools are protected under certain laws of reporting issues to Child Protective Services.

I do not believe schools have the right to abuse those laws for the benefit of retaliation, discrimination or harassment against single Black parents.

Many public schools never notify the parents about their concerns, which the parents are left in the dark about their own children , until Child Protective Services arrives at their doorstep. The scary fact this is happening more often to Black single mothers. Most of the Black single mothers are working parents, who love their children, volunteer at their child school, make it to teacher meetings and so on. As a society what is happening, it appears San Francisco public schools is on a witch hunt to have Black single mothers children in the CPS system, and under investigation with an open CPS case.

I interviewed many Black single mothers voicing their concerns with the San Francisco public schools system. Many are stating they are afraid of speaking out on the subject in fear of their children being removed out the home.

One parent told me her story; Nancy children attended Lakeshore Elementary School in San Francisco. In January of 2013, Child Protective Services came to her home accusing her 6-year-old son of not being registered in school . Nancy said she was confused; because her 6-year-old son was attending school everyday at Lakeshore Elementary. Nancy asked Child Protective Services, who reported those accusations, “ Child Protective Service case worker responded “the Principal of the school called”. “ Nancy said the Child Protective caseworker accused her of being on AFDC Welfare, Nancy advised she is not on any cash aide. The Child Protective caseworkers were shocked of Nancy statements; again, Nancy was advised Lakeshore school Principal reported the information. Nancy said the Unified School District set up a meeting about her 6-year-old son truancy, when Nancy attended the meeting she found out Lakeshore Elementary reported that her son missed 46 days of school. Nancy was shocked; she said my child has attended school. Nancy had a meeting with the Principal and her son’s Kindergarten teacher just to find out, the information reported to Child Protective Services was misleading. Lakeshore wrongfully reported the information to Child Protective Services. The case was never closed Child Protective Services still has an open case against Nancy. Twice a month a case worker visits her home, and show up to school parent meetings. Nancy is scared that her children will be removed from her home due Lakeshore false allegations.

Nancy story is just one of many, I also have a story. I have two boys who attend Creative Arts Charter School. I thought Creative Arts was a great fit for my son, such a great fit, I wanted my 5 year old son to attend the same school. All went well, now both of my children are attending Creative Arts Charter School.

However, All of sudden in February of 2013 Creative Arts made a decision to kick out my 4 year old son out of the school, due to his age. I fought and wrote letters to keep him in the school, see Creative Arts accepted a 4 year old without properly reviewing the school application. I received a call from the Principal stating he could stay in Creative Arts, yet I did not expect the retaliation after effect. I started receiving phone calls left and right about my 4 year old son, like him not passing his vision test, so I had my 4-year-old vision retested, my son past the vision test done by a private Doctor. I received another a call from the school counselor accusing my 4 year old of sexual harassment, later I found out the story was a lie, and the school counselor apologized.

In May 2013 I was picking up my children from school at 1:00 o’clock pm, I asked my 8-year old to pick up his now 5 year old brother from class and meet me outside. Apparently, there was a miss-communication between my 8-year old son and the after school care teacher. I found out through an email sent to me at 3:00 o’clock pm, stating the following “ hi there- son cannot take his brother out of school. He is too young. Both boys are registered for After School and so are technically in After School the minute school ends until they are picked up by a responsible adult who is on your list of people who are allowed to pick up your children. Therefore, they are my responsibility from the moment school ends until they are picked up. Today when I saw them outside of school, I asked them where they were going and they said you were waiting for them up the street. I said you needed to come in to sign them out that they were too young to leave on their own. They ran away from me up the street where the construction is. There is no actual sidewalk there for them to walk on and so they ran into the street. They were very unsafe.

Your children's safety after school ends is my responsibility until you or a responsible adult on their list comes to pick them up. Please let them know".

I thought wow, what is this teacher talking about. I never received a phone call from Creative Arts on this issue. I was confused, I never saw my children run into the street. I also wondered if there were any questions about releasing my children, then why didn't anyone contact me from the school. I thought the email was strange and alarming. The next day, I meet with Creative Arts Principal, he was making false accusations of hear say from strangers and the after school care teacher. The Principal admitted he questioned my son on who takes him to school, I asked the Principal on why that is a question; further more why is my son being questioned without a parent present.

Things became clear the after school care teacher was covering her ass for some reason, and accused my children of being unsupervised. I explained to the Principal, and the after school care teacher that watched my children leave safely, so what is going on, funny no could answer that question.
After the meeting, I believed the misunderstanding was cleared up.

A week later Child Protective Services came to my home, I was advised Creative Art Charter School called. Making accusations of neglect and concerns about me being a single parent, and my children's clothing attire. I was greatly shocked. I have never neglected my children, this was my 8 year old's second year at Creative Arts so why all of the sudden the accusations of neglect. Child Protective Services caseworker shocked me with the details, which all were false. Funny in the report Creative Charter School said " oh the parent is nice". I realized this is in retaliation of the letter I sent in February 2013 keeping my 5 year old in the school.



No parent should have to go through this type of retaliation.

Written by Marion Merriouns