Julian Thomas Elementary School video screenshot

A screenshot of a video that was on the Julian Thomas Elementary School Facebook page in which it was announced that the school would charge parents for picking up their students late and call police. The video has since been taken down. 

RACINE — While students waiting to be picked up can be an issue for some school officials, the principal at Julian Thomas Elementary School, 930 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, may have taken it a step too far.

A video that was posted on Thursday afternoon to the Julian Thomas Elementary School Facebook page, which has been since taken down, showed Demetri Beekman, the school’s principal, informing parents that if they did not pick up their children by 3:30 p.m. they would be charged $1 per minute.

Beekman said if parents did not contact the school in advance or pick up their children within 20 minutes of dismissal, the Racine Police Department would be called.

After The Journal Times inquired about the video on Monday it was removed from the page. In the video, Beekman said the plan was going into effect on Monday and parents should contact the main office in advance and on early release days at 1:15 p.m. or 12:15 p.m. “there should be arrangements made for pickups.”

Stacy Tapp, chief of communication and community engagement for the Racine Unified School District, said the information in the video was not accurate.

“We will work with Mr. Beekman on strategies to address the issue of students not being picked up on time,” Tapp said.

When it comes to after-school activities, according to the Julian Thomas Elementary School website, the school offers students and families multiple events throughout the year; an opportunity to play basketball; and for boys to be part of “Brothers of Purpose,” which attempts to build leadership skills.


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