In October of 2015, footage surfaced of a young girl being arrested after disobeying requests to leave a classroom in South Carolina. In the footage, she is thrown to the ground by police.
There is no doubt the actions of the officer were deplorable and he was eventually fired. Many, however, have excused the young girl from complying with the teacher since she was recently orphaned. I also heard some other people say, “we don’t know what her home life was like.”
As I recall this story, I am reminded of an episode of Iyanla Vanzant’s show Fix My Life where she talks with reality superstar Evelyn Lozada about having accountability partners or people in your circle that can help guide you and steer you in the right direction. In the book, My Seven Other Mothers, Dr. Lenetta Lee talks about these accountability partners or mothers in more detail. In the beginning she tells us that “unfortunately in the western culture, we tend to limit our experience of mothering solely onto the biological mother.”
What if the teacher or teachers at this school extended themselves after she was orphaned. What if other female students in the school had reached out? As Lee states, it’s not “who is a mother, but rather what is the function of a mother.” If others stepped up to the plate to “mother” this young girl, the outcome surely would have been different.