Support the Williams Family

This GoFundMe campaign is an effort to raise funds for Janelle Williams and her family—specifically, money to find housing and support their living expenses for a year. It’s also intended as a show of support for the Williams family and against racist disciplinary policies that have been noted in several incidents at View Ridge and elsewhere in Seattle.

Janelle’s son, Jaleel, is an eight-year-old boy and former student of View Ridge Elementary School in the View Ridge neighborhood of Seattle. He is one of a handful of Black students at View Ridge. On December 5, Seattle news radio station KUOW reported  that several times during the 2019 school year, Jaleel was subjected to a disturbing form of “discipline” at the hands of the former View Ridge principal. The teacher who raised concerns about Jaleel’s mistreatment, Jacquelyn Flaherty, is the only Black teacher at View Ridge. Flaherty’s intervention led to an investigation by Seattle Public Schools which concluded in October 2020 that Principal Ed Roos violated district policy by failing to record and report the isolation incidents and that Roos had not followed district guidance that prevents children from being kept under lock and key. 

The investigation also discovered that according to teachers and staff members, Jaleel was locked inside a gated outdoor enclosure for the entire day, alone and in view of his classmates, and even forced to eat his lunch there, on the concrete floor, because there were no chairs or tables. Teachers privately referred to the enclosure as “the Cage.” Roos, who is white, resigned—but not before Seattle Public Schools bought out the remainder of his contract for $96,000.

Meanwhile, Jaleel’s nightmares about being caged led to his admission into a child’s psychiatric hospital in December. He is a bright boy who likes to make things with his hands, help his sister and brothers with chores, and play outside. He would like to be an architect one day.

His mother, Janelle, is supporting him and his four siblings with food stamps while living in a domestic violence shelter, fleeing an ex who abused her and her children, including Jaleel. The Williams family has a Section 8 housing voucher from King County, but student loan debt (Janelle had been pursuing her nursing degree until recently) has kept her credit score low, and finding housing has been all but impossible. The lack of housing, budget, and credit, finding their own home has been impossible. If you have any leads on a possible housing solution for them please leave a message here.

Again this GoFundMe campaign is an effort to raise funds for the Williams family to find housing and support their living expenses for a year. Thank you for your support!

Organizer and beneficiary

Duy Tran
Seattle, WA
Keosha Williams

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