Official Complaint to the Principal
Five of us were on our way to the bathroom when, before exiting the cafeteria, an administrative assistant asked, “where are you guys going?” We answered, “To the bathroom”. She said OK.
After being in the bathroom for 2 or 3 minutes, we heard knocking on the door and a voice we recognized saying, “you guys need to hurry up in there”. The voice was Ms Smith’s, one of the Assistant Principals.
Since it was her administrative assistant who knew where we were, we assumed that she had told Ms Smith to check us out.
A couple of us exited the bathroom. Ms Smith asked, “Who else is in the bathroom?” I ignored the question and two more of us came out of the bathroom.
We thought this was the end of it, but Ms Smith told us to wait outside her office and got on her walkie-talkie, calling for two more administrators to come.
As we waited for them outside of Ms Smith’s office, I asked what was going on. She said she found it suspicious that five boys were in the bathroom at the same time.
I said, “We were simply urinating.” She said she wasn’t buying it. I replied saying “Oh, but if it was five white boys, it would be a different story”. This angered her and she got defensive. When another boy agreed with me, it angered her even more.
She got mad and turned red in the face. She tried to flip it on to me about being racist. She was getting mad because I was making her feel stupid, and when you make her feel stupid she acts like you’re her worst enemy.
From that statement, it all went downhill. She tried flipping the script and tried making me look like the bad guy.
She claimed I was making racist remarks by saying “white boys”. I told her I was speaking nothing but the truth and that’s how I felt.
We moved the conversation into her office where it got worse. She tried telling me there was no discrimination or stereotyping done by the faculty in the school.
After telling us that every student in the school is the same to her, she said that the faculty only judges students by reputation and by the people kids hang out and surround themselves with. Isn’t that stereotyping, I wondered.
She said that when she was in high school, she did a lot of pot and hung out with kids who also did pot. She claimed that she has observed everyone in the room high except for one of us, and she pointed at each of us, one by one.
That statement made everyone react to it. We all know when she sees someone she thinks is high she makes a big deal about it right then, so she was lying to us about us.
Like One Brain
In the beginning everyone was talking at once, but we were being reasonable. Then, she started swearing, “It’s my fucking office and nobody talks to me like that in my own fucking office” and more swears.
All hell broke loose, everyone in the room was yelling, everyone was arguing with her, but nobody swore at her. She said that she did not appreciate the fact that “all four of you are acting like one brain.”
Then another administrator, Ms “Baker”, walked in. Everyone in the room was yelling and trying to get their point across. Ms Baker yelled, “What the hell is going on”. Ms Smith explained the situation to Ms Baker by lying about it, saying that I was saying racist remarks.
I said that, first she says that everyone in the school is the same and should be treated the same, but then she says that certain people should be judged by their reputation.
I told Ms Baker that Ms Smith was lying to her face by saying that what I said was racist. Ms Baker asked me to let Ms Smith finish what she was saying and that I would get a chance to talk afterward.
I said to the others, “Wait, just let her talk so we can get this over with”. Ms Smith said, “thank you for letting me talk in my own office”. I said, “No need for the sarcasm, but all right.” She said, “Can’t we just have a civilized conversation?”
I said, “It doesn’t seem that way, it just seems like you want to do all the talking and not listen to what we have to say”.
I told her she claims all the students are the same but she is judging certain ones on their reputation which only she gets to decide. She said “the days of talking back to me are over and if anyone talks back to me, I’m going to deal with them”.
Then Mr. “Mann” walked in and said to me, “When you call someone something they are not, they get defensive.” He thought he was talking about me but to me he was talking about Ms Smith.
Ms Smith said the reason that we were arguing with her was because we’re paranoid because we have something on us that we shouldn’t have. I said that, if we did have something on us, we would be on our best behavior.
After this some of the others were searched, and three boys were suspended for the rest of Thursday and all of Friday.
Nothing was found on them. They were never told why they were suspended and they still do not know.
I was suspended for ten days because I thought that I had the right not to be searched. I found out later that I do not have the right not be searched.
I was allowed to come back after losing three and a half days of school at an important time that I needed to be in school to finish the semester and get credits.
There was no trouble until Ms Smith started it. None of us did anything wrong. She started and escalated the problems by stereotyping us Latino boys as pot smoking and having bad reputations.
Ms Smith said she would not have had us searched if we had not “made a fuss”, meaning to me, stood up to her harassment.
Because of their suspension, two of the boys were kicked out of their house and forced to sleep on other people’s couches, because their mother thinks the school is always right.
A third has not come back to school at all. This complaint says that we have been the victims of discrimination and harassment, and when we said something about it, we were searched and suspended in retaliation. (End of complaint)
(ed – This complaint was the “final straw” against Ms Smith. The first was the parent complaint contained in “shot“. After the initial parent complaint, 18 teachers filed grievances, three more parents, and another student filed complaints against her. By September, she was gone, the psychological well-being of students and staff was greatly improved, and more learning was able to occur.)