California school punished, shamed first-grader for writing 'any life' on her BLM drawing, did not notify her parents
The mother of a 7-year-old is preparing to sue the school district who punished and forced her daughter to publicly apologize for including the phrase 'any life' a Black Lives Matter drawing she made for a friend
July 13, 2022 7:11am
Updated: July 13, 2022 10:27pm
The mother of a 7-year-old is preparing to sue the school district who punished and forced her daughter to publicly apologize for including the phrase “any life” a Black Lives Matter drawing she made for a friend.
Chelsea Boyle, the mother, said in an interview with Red State that the school never informed her about the incident or the punishment. She only found out a year when another parent mentioned it to her, despite being heavily involved in school activities.
The distraught mother said that her daughter, the white “Jane” (a pseudonym), was a first-grader at Viejo Elementary School in Mission Viejo, a suburb of Orange County, California.
During a time when BLM rhetoric was ubiquitous in the media, Jane drew a picture of her diverse friends at the school, which offers a unique “two-way language immersion” program in Spanish/English.
The parents of the friend who took Jane’s drawing home called to school to complain, saying it was “offensive to their family.”
Boyle alleges that Viejo Elementary School principal Jesus Becerra sought Jane out and made her apologize about the drawing on the playground in front of other students and school staff. She was then “benched,” a punishment where she was forced to sit on a bench and watch as her classmates play during recess.
The Orange County mother said the moment she learned about the incident from another parent who knew both families felt like getting “hit by a bus.” Speaking with Jane, it was clear to Boyle that the girl did not understand why she was punished.
"My children see color as a color, as a description. I am trying to raise them the way the world should be, not the way it is. That’s how I’m trying to make my personal change," Boyle said on the "Just Listen to Yourself" podcast. She pointed out that her daughter's best friend is a person of color but not Black, so she didn’t understand “why her friend didn’t matter."
"It wasn’t ‘all lives matter,’ it was ‘any life,’" Boyle added.
"It was something she came up on her own. She just didn’t understand it. It was completely innocent, and that broke my heart."
The mother said Jane, who has ADHD and doodled as an emotional outlet, had quietly stopped drawing over the past year. When asked, Jane said the principal told her she was not allowed to draw pictures anymore.
Boyle began exploring a lawsuit against Capistrano Unified School District when the administration brushed off her demand for an apology, according to her attorney, Alexander Haberbrush.
"Their silence is unacceptable," Haberbush said in a statement to Fox News, saying that the school’s actions were "a flagrant violation of the First Amendment rights of a student placed in their care.”