45 of the 73 students in the sixth grade class wore red t-shirts, those pulled aside were sent home with this letter from the principal. Parents were shocked to learn what their child went through and tonight, they are demanding answers.
What was a normal day at Hardwick Elementary School on Thursday turned into a hornets nest. "I have a child who has never been in trouble for the seven years she's been here at this school. All of a sudden her world turns upside down because she grabbed a red jacket on her way out," said parent Laurie Long, also the school's librarian.
"My son was not aware of why he was wearing red. He just heard in the classroom, in the halls and all day long the sixth graders were wearing red," said another parent Terry Berryman. "My daughter is active in orchestra and honor choir," said parent Leslie Aparicio-Ramon.
"Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) had a police present, accused the kids of falling into a gang related situation, shook handcuffs at them, made them feel like a criminal," said Terry.
Leslie, Terry and Laurie says this is not the end. More parents are upset and they want some answers as to why this happened. Laurie is upset students were not asked questions first before gang accusations were brought up. "She wasn't asked 'Do you know what you were doing?' 'Are you a part of this?' She was just told to go down there and listen," said Laurie.
In the letter, the school principal says Hardwick has dealt with a gang that wore solid white t-shirts. He said the day before the red t-shirt incident, he had talked to a group of boys and girls who wore solid white t-shirts. The principal then said those students "proceeded to tell their friends in the sixth grade to wear red t-shirts the next day as a sign of defiance." The principal says this was the reason 45 students wore red shirts on Thursday.
"Some of these kids wore it by chance and were extremely upset and emotional."
Some of these parents have taken their concerns to the school administrator building. They want officials to handle the school principal for what those parents call a mistreatment. NewsChannell 11 contacted LISD administration, they declined to comment.