ORLANDO, Fla. - A 6-year-old girl who was arrested in school several weeks ago is ready to go back to class, but trying to get into the right school for her has been a struggle, her grandmother says.
Meralyn Kirkland says she is using books and flashcards at home because her granddaughter, Kaia, has not been to school in two months.
"At first, I was frustrated, and then I became angry because I felt she was being victimized a second time," Kirkland explains.
Back in September, Reserve Officer Dennis Turner was fired after he arrested Kaia and another child at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy. Kaia explained what happened back then.
"The other officer had handcuffs like the paper ones," she says.
All charges were dropped, but Kirkland says Kaia now needs to go to a private school.
"She is not able to go to a school with a uniformed officer. Her therapist says do not force her. She’ll just be even more traumatized," she says.
So she is trying to apply for a Hope Scholarship to help pay for Kaia’s private school.
"She’s been out two months and of course I have no funds to pay for a private school."
In order to even qualify for the scholarship, Kirkland needs the academy to sign a notification form.
"Her previous school principal declined to sign the form," Kirkland says. "She has not given me a definitive as to why."
A spokesperson from Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy says the principal wanted to sign the form but couldn’t because the options on the paper didn’t match up to the situation that occurred.
"On what form are we expected to see in a box that a 6-year-old was arrested on campus is eligible for a scholarship. That’s not a box any of us would expect to see."
So we called the Florida Department of Education to find out what could be done and later this afternoon the school spokesperson told us, the principal would be signing the form.
"Although they’re saying it will be done, I’ll be grateful if they do, but I will not believe it until it’s done. I’m sorry."
She hopes to get her granddaughter back into class soon and is grateful to FOX 35 News.
"Thank you so much for your help," she says. "Until I spoke to you, I had been beating my head against a brick wall."
Kirkland says there are three private schools in the area that would be perfect for Kaia. She plans to call the Florida Department of Education for an update on Tuesday..