Rob Mueller-Owens of Madison, Wisconsin has a lot of explaining to do. The teacher has been caught on school cameras assaulting an 11-year-old student as part of a disciplinary action.
On February 13th, Miklea Price filed a police report with Madison PD. Her daughter called, tearfully explaining her teacher, Rob Mueller-Owens, tackled her at school. Price stated, “She was just like…crying and extremely upset. I could tell, like by the way she was crying and talking, that something traumatic had just happened.” She went to the school grounds immediately to console her daughter and found her speaking with three staff members about the ordeal. When Miklea saw her daughter, she said, “she was crying and her lip was cracked, bleeding, and she handed me three of her braids that were pulled out from her scalp.”
He Pushed Her
Acting as principal for the day, Mueller-Owens attacked Price’s daughter after a teacher was annoyed by the amount of perfume she and another student were wearing. He asked the students to leave, but when she refused things quickly got out of hand.
According to the teacher who called Mueller-Owens into the room, he told her “‘Take the class somewhere else’ and her daughter said ‘No, that’s fine. They can stay, I’ll go.'” As she was heading out of the room, Mueller-Owens pushed her with two hands, attempting to force her out of the room. Price’s daughter said, “Don’t put your hands on me,” and the acting principal pushed her again, then began punching her.
Caught on Camera
During the assault, Mueller-Owens allegedly tackled, punched, and pulled the victim’s braids out while she laid in a defensive position. He continued to abuse the student until another teacher stepped in, defending the victim with their own body.
Miklea Price viewed the footage of the attack on the 15th and said, “I didn’t see the punching but on the actual video that I was able to review on Friday from the school district, I did see him throwing her down.” Price continued, “you see another teacher, that I also spoke with, that said she had to lay on top of (my daughter) to prevent her from getting punched or hit.”
Rob Mueller-Price has been placed on leave and is under investigation by both the school district and police according to Madison365. A representative for the Madison Metropolitan School District has stated, “as a district, we take any situation of this nature very seriously.” However, Mueller-Owens is the seventh educator to be placed on leave following racial incidents at Madison schools.
A representative for The Price family has stated that they’re hiring an attorney and her 11-year-old daughter is too frightened to attend school.
High School Students Stage Sit-In Protest Against Racism
In response to how school faculty have handled a racist video, students of Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx have staged an overnight-sit-in protest. Dissatisfied with faculty’s response to demands to address racism on the school’s campus, students have rallied and locked staff out of the administration building until they reached an agreement.
Outrage Lead to Action
More than 200 high school students of the K-12 academy occupied the building to demand action. They were outraged by the response to a video which featured White students counting down before blurting racist, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs. The video gained attention after circulating Twitter and eventually being reported on by The New York Times. However, school administrative officials did the bare minimum by only condemning the video without stating a plan for disciplinary action. Knowing only one of the students involved had withdrawn from the exclusive academy, students developed a plan to hold staff accountable. Thus, Students of Color Matter was born.
The standoff between students and staff lasted for 72 hours before an agreement was met. Each day the students, who developed a Twitter, Instagram, and petition, posted demands to their accounts. March 11th, the students began with a statement on Instagram:
“We are here today in light of recent events imploring those who desire to see out institution more forward to stand in solidarity with the students of color and white allies of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Community. Today a lockout will take place in the administration building (the 200s) as a means to force our administration to acknowledge the concerns we’ve been bringing to their attention over the past several years”
After outlining the reason for their cause, Students of Color Matter organizers detailed updates as well as their demands.
All or Nothing
The administration was sent an email by students which resulted in the head of the school, Jessica Bagby, alerting parents and students that “Fieldston campus will operate on a normal schedule.” The students also integrated a hashtag, which added pressure due to its discovery by major media sources. Despite the non-violent protest, there were two physical altercations which involved a history teacher and a parent attempting to enter the closed facility. Jessica Bagby’s inadequate response to the students’ demands and inability to commit to change is what ultimately caused the 72-hour standoff.
As of March13th, the students had roughly 3,000 signatures on their petition. Housed on their Students of Color Matter website, the organization calls for the following:
The use of racist and bigoted language are symptoms of systemic and institutional racism that plague educational institutions across the country. For this reason, we command the implementation of structural reform, such as long term curriculum changes, the admittance of more students and faculty of color, and racial sensitivity training for all community members.”
Jaden Smith Brings Mobile Water Filtration System to Flint
Flint, Michigan has been ravaged by a bad city-wide deal that resulted in tainted water for nearly five years. Now, Jaden Smith’s startup may provide a solution to the city’s needs water needs.
Called “The Water Box”, Jaden’s mobile water filtration device was unveiled in Flint at First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. Able to produce 10 gallons of clean drinking water per minute, the actor-rapper turned philanthropist hopes the invention will help the community. Housed within the church, which previously distributed over 5 million bottles of water to the community, residents will be able to fill any container of their choice with clean water. However, they are required to do so during distribution times.
After Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ended the free bottled water program initiated by the state, Jaden and crew stepped up through JUST Water. JUST Water is a company that Jaden Smith became a partner of at just 12 years old. The company, which “combines for-profit energy and non-profit motives,” began from a desire to develop a filtration system to benefit poorer areas and nations. Making clean water more accessible, the company first launched in August 2018 in the UK.
Speaking about his community effort, Jaded remarked, “This has been one of the most rewarding and educational experiences for me personally. He added,” Working together with people in the community experiencing the problems and designing something to help them has been a journey I will never forget.” Jaden Smith plans to continue deploying more filtration systems across the city to benefit those in need and looks forward to aiding more places experiencing similar issues.
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