Mother of black student who was handcuffed demands Spokane school superintendent resign

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SPOKANE, Washington — A woman is demanding the resignation of Spokane schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger because her son was handcuffed after trying to enter a middle school to use the bathroom.

Virla Spencer's petition stems from an Aug. 31 incident when her 15-year-old son was detained by a school resource officer for trespassing at Shaw Middle School. Spencer claims her son was targeted for being black.

The Spokesman-Review ( reports that Redinger says Spencer's son was never arrested nor charged and the incident was reviewed by staff and legal action wasn't pursued.

The Center for Justice, where Spencer works, filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Washington Human Rights Commission. Spencer has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU representatives are scheduled to come to Spokane on Nov. 17.

James Wilburn, who oversees community and parent involvement for the district, says the resource officer made a mistake but he doesn't think it was racially motivated.

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