A 6-year-old girl has been banned from her preschool for wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. According to Arkansas mother Deval Brockman, her daughter had been attending the school for six months when teachers raised objections to t-shirts supporting the human rights movement. Now, Journei has been barred from entering the school, which has responded defiantly to the controversy.
An Ongoing Dispute
The furor began on June 25, when Deval received a call at work. It was from the His Kids Preschool, where her daughter Journei attended. The director of the school had called to complain about a shirt the 6-year-old wore that read, “All Lives Can’t Matter until Black Lives Matter,” according to Today.
“I never thought twice about the shirt being a problem,” said Brockman. “The director was like, ‘I don’t support it. I don’t like it. I want to make sure you do not send her to school in the shirt again.'”
Brockman later reported the incident to the state of Arkansas. A state employee told her the shirt was fine as long as it didn’t display any profanities. Reassured, she sent Journei to preschool the next day wearing a shirt that said, “I can’t breathe,” with a raised fist on the back.
“If I’m supporting something, I’m gonna wear it, my child is gonna wear it, to help say that our voice needs to be heard,” Brockman told Fox 16 News.
However, the new shirt didn’t go over well with the daycare’s director, who began repeatedly calling and texting Brockman at work, asking her to pick Journei up. When she arrived at the school, she says, the director and her husband proceeded to scold her.
“Her husband is having a conversation with me now where he calls me racist. He told me I’m teaching my child to be racist, and tells me I need to re-evaluate my parenting,” said Brockman.
The School Doubles Down
The preschool has declined individual requests for comment, but did release a statement to Fox 16 defending their actions.
“Due to threat of allegations and under the advisement of the council, His Kids Learning Center will only be releasing this written statement concerning The Brockman’s: We feel a childcare environment is not a place for a parent’s political views to be addressed or played out, regardless of race,” the statement read.
Brockman disagrees that the matter has anything to do with politics.
“It’s not political, it’s everyday life. It’s all over the news,” she told Fox 16. “Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
Brockman also said she feels it’s important to talk to children of color about race.
“Kids need to know that their skin color already is going to work against them to a certain degree in people’s eyes,” she told Today. “So, they need to be prepared and be able to learn and know that they may not have done anything, but they’re going to be treated very differently. Hopefully, someday it will change.”