A mother who was arrested on the first day of school for allegedly cussing and threatening a school principal says the principal would not let her children in the school, even though they had the correct registration paperwork.
Hope Trawick, 28, said she spent three days trying to register two of her children for classes at Edgewood Elementary, but had some trouble with the residency affidavit. Trawick lives with her mother.
She was arrested Monday at the school and charged with disorderly conduct. Police said she used obscenities toward the school’s principal Melana Cassell in front of several other parents and students between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.
Monday was the third day Trawick spent trying to register her 6-year-old and 4-year-old for school. She tried to register at Edgewood’s verification day on Thursday, August 5, but needed her mother to sign the residency affidavit. She went to the district’s central registration office on Friday, August 6, to sort out the paperwork.
“I spent all day Friday getting the residency affidavit done. We were there until 7 p.m., so we couldn’t go back to the school,” she said.
On Monday, Trawick said she went back to the school and was stopped by Cassell. She said the principal refused to look at her paperwork and told her it wasn’t what she needed to register her children for school.
Trawick said she asked if her 10-year-old daughter, who was already registered for classes at Edgewood, could stay, but she said Cassell told her no. Trawick said she also called her mother — who has guardianship of the 10-year-old — but Cassell did not want to speak to her.
“She refused to let my oldest one in. She refused to even speak with my mother,” she said.
Trawick said she used profanity on the phone with her mother, but did not cuss or physically threaten the principal.
“I told my mother ‘I swear to God, I’m going to cuss this (expletive) out.’” she said. Trawick said the principal cussed at her as well.
After Cassell called the police and Trawick realized she was going to be arrested, she said she left the school.
“I asked if the kids could go inside while they arrested me,” Trawick said. “As an educator, the kids are supposed to be your first priority. She would not allow my kids to step inside for five minutes.”
Trawick said she was worried about how her kids would react to her being arrested.
“I did just come from prison. They see me getting arrested, they think I’m going away for a long time,” she said.
After Trawick paid her fine for the disorderly conduct charge, she said she went to the central registration office again and was told there weren’t any problems with her kids’ paperwork.
But now, Trawick is banned from Edgewood Elementary.
“I can’t come to the school. If one of my kids gets sick, I can’t go get them. I’m not allowed to go up and check on them,” she said. “I should still be able to visit my kids. If they choose to escort me with security that’s fine.”
Trawick said she has thought about transferring her kids from Edgewood, but doesn’t want to uproot them in the middle of the year. “It’s difficult to transport them to another school. Elementary school starts at 8 a.m. That’s really early to get kids up and ready for school. Plus, I have middle schooler.”
Trawick said she doesn’t want her kids to suffer because of her arrest.
“I don’t feel like my kids should be treated this way because of me.”
Questions for Cassell about the incident were directed to the district's director of communications, Valerie Fuller. Fuller said principals are not allowed to speak to the media about personnel or student issues.
Fuller said she hasn't seen the police report or the registration paperwork for Trawick's children, but that the school and the central office said Trawick did not have to correct paperwork Monday.