Kenji Roberts (pictured right) is on a warpath and is taking her 12-year-old grandchild, Mikia Hutchings‘ (pictured left) Henry County School District to task for reportedly trying to not only expel the child but charge her criminally for merely writing the word “Hi” on a locker room wall, according to WSB-TV.
At the time of the mischievous deed, Mikia was with a white child, whom the grandmother says was handed down a far less severe punishment. Roberts wants to make clear she does not believe her granddaughter’s act should go unpunished but feels the school’s administrators went to obscene measures in trying to prove a point. “It is totally ludicrous. We need to build these children,” Roberts said.
The case has also been placed under the microscope of the Georgia Legal Services Program and they in turn filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division because they suspect an undercurrent of racism in regards to Mikia’s punishment.
According to the complaint, “Intentional discrimination is an ongoing problem for students at the Henry County School District.” State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Henry County) also spoke with WSB-TV and he concurs with what the complaint states about unfair and racist practices within Henry County, adding that disciplinary actions against African-American students statewide are unjust and extreme. “Start a kid off early, label that kid as a troubled kid — that label tends to follow them through their educational career,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, an unidentified spokesperson for the Henry County School system in McDonough told WSB-TV they are not allowed to comment on the allegations. The school district, where 48 percent of students are African-American and where black students make up about 60 percent of the kids that were punished, reportedly only recently put together a 12-person commission to examine the disciplinary measures that are being executed within their schools.
Even though Mikia’s punishment was eventually reduced to a suspension, Robert contends, “You’ve got to expect kids to do childish things, but it shouldn’t end their educational career!”