A California mother is suing an elementary school that allegedly coerced her daughter into publicly apologizing for writing “any life” next to the words “Black Lives Matter” in a drawing, according to an interview given exclusively to RedState.
Chelsea Boyle claims that her 7-year-old daughter was punished for drawing a picture that included the words “any life” written next to the words “Black Lives mater [sic],” according to an interview with RedState. Boyle alleges that the school did not inform her about the incident or subsequent punishment, she learned of the incident from a mutual friend.
Boyle’s daughter, a first-grader at Viejo Elementary School at the time of the incident, drew a picture that included black, brown, orange and purple circles meant to symbolize her friends. A picture obtained by RedState and verified to the Daily Caller by Boyle’s legal representation shows the four circles, the words “Black Lives mater [sic],” and “any life.”
Exclusive: CA First-Grader Disciplined, Harassed By School Officials For Writing ‘Any Lives’ Matter on BLM Drawing https://t.co/rKGkafkwUa
— Kira (@RealKiraDavis) July 11, 2022
The picture reportedly went home with one of Boyle’s daughter’s friends. In her interview, Boyle claims that her daughter’s friend’s parents saw the drawing and called the school to complain. (RELATED: Loudoun County Schools Sued For Allegedly Promoting Secret Gender Transitions, Pornographic Books)
Boyle alleges that the elementary school principal forced her daughter to apologize in front of peers and staff on the playground. After the apology, Boyle’s daughter — who has ADHD — was barred from drawing at school and “benched” during recess time, according to the outlet. Boyle said that her daughter kept the incident to herself and has little understanding of the situation.
The daughter reportedly told her mother that she can’t draw or write “any life” at school.
“I don’t teach [about] Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, [or] anything in my house because I think my children are too young [for politics],” Boyle said to RedState. “Her best friend is brown — not black, but brown — and she didn’t understand why [the brown friend] didn’t matter, why her friend didn’t matter. She has another friend that is Japanese; she doesn’t understand.”
“It wasn’t ‘all lives matter,’ it was ‘any life,’” the mother continued. “It was something she came up [with] on her own. She just didn’t understand it. It was completely innocent, and that broke my heart.”
Boyle’s legal representative, Alexander Haberbush of the Lex Rex Institute, told the Daily Caller that the school does not deny that the picture was drawn and Boyle’s daughter was punished for it. The school does deny that it compelled an apology from the daughter.
Haberbush described the situation as one of compelled speech. He told the Daily Caller that the school has not contacted Boyle since Lex Rex Institute was retained as counsel and they are “pessimistic” that the school intends to compromise without litigation.
“Their silence is unacceptable. What Viejo Elementary School did is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment rights of a student placed in their care,” Haberbush said. “Egregious as it would be on its own, this is not just a compelled speech case. As a child with ADHD, art is Ms. Boyle’s daughter’s main emotional outlet. The school has deprived her of that.”
Viejo Elementary School’s principal Jesus Becerra is on “summer break” and will not return to his emails until late July.
Capistrano Unified School District told the Daily Caller that over the last four months district office personnel and school site personnel have been “working with the family to investigate and address their concerns.” The district alleges that its complaint process has been utilized.
“The District complaint process has been utilized and has not reached the Board of Trustees at this time. In general, the CUSD complaint process begins with the school site principal and, if a parent appeals the school site resolution, the complaint would move up to District staff. A final appeal would go to the Board of Trustees,” a district spokesperson said.