Tamara Taylor Wiki – Tamara Taylor Biography
Tamara Taylor is the mother of a ten-year-old girl who was arrested at a school in Hawaii over a drawing, was the only Black student involved in the incident and the only one disciplined, the girl’s family and attorney said?
“It’s hard to believe that they were not treated that way because of their race,” Attorney Mateo Caballero said about the girl and her mother. “She was the only student investigated, disciplined, interrogated, and arrested.”
Her age is unclear.
On Jan. 10, 2020, a parent complained to school officials about a sketch Taylor’s daughter and other students had drawn in response to another student allegedly bullying Taylor’s daughter.
At the parent’s insistence, school officials called police to the school, where officers questioned Taylor’s daughter, arrested her, and transported her to the police station without alerting her mother.
The ACLU said that Taylor also went to the school and was falsely imprisoned when school staff and police prevented her from leaving two rooms she was confined to.
The mother “expressed some concern about being African American in an encounter with the police” and was worried about her daughter’s safety “in light of the police presence given the high rate of police violence against Black people and the discriminatory disciplining of Black girls in schools,” the ACLU letter said.
The ACLU of Hawaiʻi joined Taylor in her push for policy changes involving police interactions with children at school. Wookie Kim is the legal director for the ACLU Hawaiʻi. He says there were other ways the school could have handled the situation.
“There’s an instinct… of calling the police first rather than trying other alternatives beforehand. In particular, one of the demands that we are making of the Department of Education is that school officials consult with the school counselor before calling the police.
Unless, of course, there’s an emergency where someone is imminently threatened with severe harm, and that wasn’t the case here,” Kim said.
Other changes to school and police policy being sought by the ACLU include allowing parents or guardians to be with their child during an interrogation and requiring that police issue citations instead of arresting a child suspected of committing a misdemeanor.
Taylor’s daughter has since withdrawn from the school and relocated out of state.
Tamara Taylor Statement
Taylor told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Friday that she dropped her daughter at school and received a call later that day about a children’s dispute and the possibility of police being called.
When she arrived, Taylor says, officers were already at the school.
“We were led into a room; I’m assuming to discuss the situation. However, what happened previous(ly) to lead up to where we were at that moment was never explained to me. I didn’t know what was going on at that point in time,” Taylor said.
She wasn’t allowed to leave that room and only saw her daughter at a distance when a police car drove off as Taylor was escorted outside, the mother said.
Taylor said she doesn’t believe the drawing was the sole motivation for her daughter’s arrest and race played a role.
“I was stripped of my rights as a parent, and my daughter was stripped of her right to protection and representation as a minor.
There was no understanding of diversity, African-American culture, and the history of police involvement with African-American youth.
My daughter and I are traumatized from these events, and I’m disheartened to know that this day will live with my daughter forever,” Taylor said in a statement earlier this week.
The ACLU wants the city and state to pay $500,000 in damages to the child and her mother for the harm and suffering caused by DOE staff and HPD officers.
The girl later told her mother that police had made the child remove her shoelaces and earrings at the police station, but she didn’t know-how. The handcuffs left marks on the girl’s wrists, the ACLU said.
The ACLU is giving police, education officials, and the state attorney general’s office until Nov. 8 to respond.
“The Department of the Attorney General is aware of the letter and will work with the Department of Education to respond,” Gary Yamashiroya, special assistant to the attorney general, said Monday.
Honolulu police are reviewing the letter and will work with city attorneys to “address these allegations,” said Sarah Yoro, a spokesperson for the police department.
State Department of Education officials declined to comment on the incident.