SWANSEA, Ill. (KMOX) - An eight year old third-grade girl in Swansea, Illinois stood outside her school on Tuesday morning, screaming and crying and wearing a sign saying “I like to steal from others and lie about it.”
Her parents, Montrail and Melissa White made her wear the sign as punishment for repeatedly stealing. But as she stood in the school parking lot, the High Mount School Superintendent, Michael Brink, called the police who persuaded her father to let her take off the sign and go to class.
Montrail White said he was threatened with arrest and told by one of the four police officers who showed up “you call that being a good father?”
Superintendent Brink said, “I understand that he was trying to discipline his child. However, when you’re doing it in the middle of a school parking lot where hundreds of cars come in and out of school every morning, it definitely puts the student at risk.”
Brink says his other concern was that the girl’s father was also using expletives in disciplining the girl in front of other students, which is inappropriate at an elementary school. Montrail denies that.
Brink said, “I can tell you from our standpoint, it will not happen in our parking lot. If he or anyone else would like to do it off school property that’s certainly their business, we will make sure of that and it’s certainly the right of the parents.”
Swansea Police Chief Mike Arnold said there’s not much he can do if White and his daughter come back for another try. If they stay on public property without creating a disturbance, that’s the father’s right.
The district sent a letter to parents during school on Tuesday explaining what happened. Superintendent Brink did state that he will “absolutely not tolerate the verbal abuse and profanities that were used this morning in the presence of parents, students and school personnel.”