Child’s Artwork at Michigan School’s Center of Debate – NBC Chicago
An 11-year-old girl’s artwork is at the center of a debate at a Michigan school after the child’s mother said her daughter was unfairly targeted due to a misinterpretation of the drawing.
In a now-viral TikTok, Sierra Carter explained that she was contacted by her daughter’s 5th grade elementary school teacher in the Hanover-Horton School District, saying “a little boy walked up to her and had let him know that he thought my daughter drew boy roles on his pig project.”
Carter said, when asked, her daughter told the teacher the drawing was actually a bow tie, but the project was eventually picked up and given to the school’s vice principal.
Later, when dropping off her daughter the following week, Carter asked to see the design created by her daughter.
“Every time I look at it I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? That’s a creepy bow tie,'” Carter said in her video, which has since been viewed over 600,000 times on the social media site. .
“I’m sorry my daughter isn’t Monet, but to her a bow tie is a bow tie and a tie,” Carter continued. “What if another kid looked at it and thought it was something else that looked like his problem and not her problem.”
The school said it was not punishing Carter’s daughter, but Carter said she was told a copy of the work would be kept “in case other cases arise.”
In a statement to NBC 5, District Superintendent John Denney noted that there were “two versions of this story” and that “nothing has been placed in any student’s school records relating to this matter.” .
“In this case, a student brought their concerns to the attention of our staff,” Denney said. “In response, our staff handled the situation with compassion and discretion. Staff reached out to the student’s parents to discuss the situation. No student was isolated or ostracized. Every effort was made to protect the privacy and dignity of all students.”
In a series of follow-up TikToks, Carter said she met with Denney and other school leaders to ask for an apology and for no copies of the artwork to be left in her daughter’s file.
She shared a copy of an email from Denney, in which he states that while his child’s file contains no reference to the situation, he doesn’t think it would be “appropriate … to dispose of the artifacts “.
“As it stands, these are essentially notes to refer to if there are any significant issues through the end of the year,” Denney’s email said.
He added that this is a “common process for a teacher and/or administrator to do with students.”
“It’s our way of giving some breathing room while still having something to watch closely if something similar happens later in the year,” the email reads. “In my view, it would not be appropriate for the office to do anything differently with the items it tracks.”
But Carter said “there’s nothing she did wrong to bring up and blame her for.”
She believes the situation was mishandled and should have been corrected the moment her daughter informed them that the design was of a bow tie.
“He could have been arrested and he could have been arrested, but he didn’t,” she said.