This Cafeteria Celebration Turned Into Four Arrests And A Broken Wrist

slice of birthday cake on a plate
Zain Murdock
February 9, 2023

16-year-old Pleajhai Mervin was supposed to remember September 27, 2007, as the day she celebrated her friend’s birthday at school. 

But when a school security guard grew angry when she dropped a piece of cake, everyone would remember that day as something much more frightening.

After the guard asked her to clean it up, Mervin immediately did. But the guard still decided to follow her on her way to class, pinning her face-down on a table and breaking her wrist. “Hold still, nappy head,” he yelled.

Mervin was expelled from school and arrested. The guard also tackled a student who was filming. And that student along with another student who tried to intervene were also suspended and arrested. When Mervin’s mother came to meet with the school about it, she got arrested, too. She then lost her job.

Today, school resource officers still disproportionately target Black girls with verbal and physical assault, often over clothing, “attitudes,” and minor mistakes.

Loved ones aren’t in the wrong for protecting youth from cops. A system that abuses children and criminalizes people who come to their defense is despicable.

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