A Missouri mother is furious about how she was treated by school administrators and police officers, who had her arrested for trespassing because she failed to sign a guestbook when she came to the elementary school to assist her special needs son.
The mother, Niakea Williams, received a call from her son’s teacher that he was having a medical episode. Williams’ son, Michael, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.
Williams rushed over to Walnut Groves Elementary School in St. Louis County, Missouri, to help her son. School officials promptly let her inside.
“I saw a teacher and she said Ms. Williams what is wrong? I said something is wrong with Mikey and proceeded to go straight to my son,” said Williams in an interview with KMOV.
Williams provided assistance to her son, calming him down.
Soon after, the principal came to the classroom and informed Williams that she violated school policy by failing to sign the guestbook. Williams replied that she was perfectly willing to sign the book.
It was too late, the principal said.
“I didn’t sign the book, but I had to check on my son,” said Williams. “[I said] ‘You can bring me the book.’ She said, ‘Oh no, I’ve already called the police.’ [I said] ‘You called what!’” remembered Williams.
Police responded to the scene as if there had been a reported unauthorized entry to the school–even though staff had let Williams inside. Officers with the Calverton Park Police department arrested Williams and took her to the station. The school was also on lockdown for 12 minutes, and a letter was sent out to parents explaining what had happened.
It was all an unnecessary overreaction, said Williams.
“They escorted me away from my son, who already has emotional distress,” she said. “Four officers told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back, I was under arrest.”
The school could not immediately be reached for comment.