Florida child, 2, restrained at daycare during civil rights lesson, NAACP urges investigation

Building Brains Academy said the incident took place after the toddler's class "spontaneously decided to act out" elements of Rosa Parks' historic story, including her arrest.

The NAACP has demanded an investigation into a Florida daycare center after a 2-year-old was handcuffed there during a civil rights lesson on Rosa Parks.

In a letter, the NAACP called for the “immediate cessation of such activities within the curriculum at Building Brains Academy” in Osceola County and said the organization would be “exploring all legal avenues to address this grave matter and ensure such incidents are not repeated,” Fox 35 News reported.

The civil rights organization requested the Florida Department of Children and Families probe after a Black toddler experienced “an alarming act of simulation” when a white peer at Building Brains Academy handcuffed and fingerprinted her.

A 2-year-old Black girl was pulled by her parents from the Building Brains Academy daycare in Florida after she was handcuffed and fingerprinted during a civil rights lesson on Rosa Parks. (Photo: AdobeStock)

The toddler’s parents expressed outrage at the situation — of which they were initially made aware after someone shared photos via the school app. 

“Her hands restrained behind her back as if she was being taken into custody,” said the parents, who did not want to be identified. “Then the next image was her hands being placed on a table as if she was being booked, and the look on her face alone, it was horrific.” 

After being pulled from the daycare center, the parents said their daughter is back to being her bubbly self.

Building Brains officials told Fox 35 News in a statement that the images published do not provide a comprehensive or accurate depiction of their lesson about the significance of equal rights.

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They asserted that a class at the multicultural school was learning about Parks’ legacy and the necessity of treating each other equally. 

In the moment, the class “spontaneously decided to act out elements of Ms. Parks’ story, including her arrest for refusing to give up her seat at the front of the bus,” the institution shared.

“Our school believes in and teaches the importance of equality, of standing up for our rights, and of speaking up when we see something isn’t right,” its statement said. “We teach these lessons not to celebrate the wrongdoings of others in the past, but to encourage our children to prevent such actions in the future. We deeply regret the assumption that our teachers, our leadership, or our administration would in any way choose to make a child feel uncomfortable or negatively singled out.”

However, the toddler’s parents contended there are “many [other] ways to teach the Rosa Parks story,” according to Fox 35.

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