BELLEVILLE, IL (KMOX) - A Belleville elementary school was the site of a parent protest this morning over claims that discipline handed out at Signal Hill Elementary is more harsh on black students than anyone else.
LaShonda Sanders says parents are fed up with teachers she calls bullies.
“The school says my child was suspended because, when she confiscated another kid’s phone, she found a picture of my child on the phone actually taking a picture of herself.”
She says the picture wasn’t inappropriate in any way.
Sanders says she doesn’t question the cell phone being taken but she does question the right of the principal to then look through a student’s phone.
Also, Sanders claims there were pictures of white students who also took pictures of themselves the same day with the cell phone in question but who were not suspended.
Another parent, Lynn Fields, wasn’t one of the parents at the protest because she took her daughter out of the school last year.
“She was suspended because a teacher said she laughed during the national anthem in an assembly,” Fields said.
She said her daughter isn’t perfect but a two-day suspension for that infraction is heavy-handed.
Another parent tells KMOX the principal took another student’s cell phone last week, went through the pictures, found one her daughter had taken the previous day of herself smiling, and suspended her daughter for two days.
Fields has harsh words.
“Those teachers have a pack mentality and they are bullies. My daughter started having migraines, she would cry every morning because she didn’t want to go to school.”
KMOX news has reached out to the district and expects a response today.