Mother accuses CPS and CPD of racially profiling her daughter

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COLUMBIA - A mother has filed a discrimination complaint against Columbia Public Schools and the Columbia Police Department, saying her daughter was racially profiled after a fight at Smithton Middle School. 

"They ended up arresting my daughter saying they heard she stomped on a girl's torso and they ended up locking her up," Kandas Holmes-Barnes said.

She said her daughter was fingerprinted and taken to the juvenile justice center and held for 24-hours.

Kandas Holmes-Barnes said her daughter was so traumatized by the events, and bullying at school which followed, the girl attempted suicide.

According to the complaint through the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, "On April 10, 2019, two girls, one white, one black, got into a fight in the hallway of Smithton Middle School. Another middle schooler caught much of the fight on cell phone video."

Holmes-Barnes said the video makes it clear her daughter was not involved in the fight in any way.

"I was able to get the video that night and it wasn't my daughter at all so that made me furious and let me know that the teachers and the student involved lied on my daughter and said it was her," she said. 

Holmes-Barnes said she contacted the principal that night and asked him to look at the video.

"I said can you please look at the video and make sure that it wasn't my daughter and he did not do it," she said.

The complaint said Holmes-Barnes was permitted a brief visit and her daughter was sobbing uncontrollably. 

"They doused her with lice spray in her hair. They put in other people's clothing and undergarments and made her sit in a hold cell overnight," she said. 

According to the complaint, the daughter was exonerated and released, but faced bullying at her school when she went back to class.

"She was called jailbird and prison mate. The teachers started following her around school like if she was a drug dealer. They kept suspending her from school three to four to five days at a time for getting loud." she said

Her mother said she sent the girl to a physiatrist through the school. 

"The physiatrist put her on Zoloft because ended up trying to take her life last Tuesday." 

Holmes-Barnes said she wants justice for her daughter and something done to those who were actually involved in the incident. 

"I will not rest until I get justice for my child," she said.

KOMU 8 reached out to CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark. She said the district can't comment on individual student discipline. 

 

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