HORTON, Mich. (WLNS) — A Michigan 11-year-old’s drawing was taken by school officials after it was deemed “inappropriate,” and her parents want an apology.
“Everybody is refusing to remove the artwork, and they are refusing to apologize, and those are the only two things I’ve asked for,” said mother Sierra Carter.
Carter has been battling with Hanover Horton Schools to get the image scrubbed from her daughter’s file.
“This is not what she meant to draw,” remarked Carter. “I mean, it’s very clearly a bowtie.”
To some, it’s a harmless drawing of a pig, but to others, part of it appeared to depict a phallic symbol.
“I got a call from my daughter’s teacher saying she had drawn something inappropriate in art class,” said Carter. “The teacher looked at it [and] said she had to give it to the principal, to get his thoughts on that. She told me that when she gave it to him and asked him what his thoughts were, he instantly said [to] write her up for it.”
After Carter confronted the principal.
“He asked me, you know, ‘Who do you expect to apologize to her,'” the girl’s mother said. “That was his response to me.”
Nevertheless, Carter persisted, and school officials eventually agreed to remove the write-up, but they said they would still keep documentation of the incident.
“They stated they needed it as a paper trail in case my daughter did anything else,” said Carter.
John Denney, the school superintendent, said his staff handled the situation with “compassion and discretion” and that the school did not “ostracize” the student.
But Carter said that is not the case. She said her 11-year-old told her that she doesn’t want to go to school and that she is both anxious and worried about getting in trouble.
Carter took the situation to TikTok, saying she hopes to create change by sharing her daughter’s situation.
“I never expected any of this to become such a big deal,” she said. “It never should have become a big deal.”
Superintendent Denney responded with dismay to the TikTok post.
“It’s unfortunate that a one-sided narrative has been created on social media that paints our staff in a negative light,” said Denney.