• 4 children barred from Memphis school after principal denies their residency, mom speaks out

    By: Marius Payton


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Four children have been barred from a local school after a principal denies their residency.


    For nearly 2 weeks, the mother of those children, has fought to get them re-enrolled in Snowden School. FOX13 spoke with the mother Tuesday afternoon and found out these kids have missed 8 days of school already.


    The situation began on September 8th at Snowden School. Now 8 school days later, the mother is facing a subpoena from Shelby County Sheriff for truancy. This, even after proving to Shelby County Schools that she does live in the district.


    "People sleep outside for a chance to get their kids to go to an Optional School and you mean to tell me that I stay in the district and I'm allowed to get them in optional school for free? If you don't think I want that opportunity? Of course I do," said Erica Smith, a hardworking mother of 4 boys.


    Nearly 2 weeks ago, she found out her children had been kicked out of Snowden School.


    "Well, originally my children were kicked out of school due to a residency issue. The principal was stating that we were not staying where I told them that we stayed," said Smith.


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    After she met all of the requirements for proof of residency, her kids were still not allowed back into school. Then Smith said she was told by the principal that her 6-year-old had a behavioral issue. She agrees he does, but he has never been violent.


    "He hasn't hit anybody or put his hands on anybody no," Smith added.


    But why would all 4 kids be kicked out? FOX13 reached out to Shelby County School District about this issue.


    They responded via email saying, "It has come to our attention that school leaders spoke with the family earlier today and the students will be allowed to attend Snowden."


    Smith said she received that email from the district and other emails like it, but she believes there seems to be a disconnect between the school district and the Snowden School principal.


    When asked what happens when she takes her kids to school? “She puts us out of the school telling us that she wants to talk to them before she re-enrolled us, and then she prolongs it another day. Yesterday she threatened to call the police if I didn't get off the property," said Smith.


    A strong move against a mother of 4 who just wants her kids to get a good education.


    "And that's what I'm trying to teach my kids. You're going to need education to have anything." Smith added.


    While this is going on, keep in mind it's the kids that are suffering. Ms. Smith said she plans on taking her children back to Snowden School on Wednesday morning to re-enroll them. FOX13 plans to be there as well.


    UPDATE: FOX13 has learned the children were let back into school Wednesday. 

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