A second-grade teacher at Wayside Elementary School, Carrie Maxwell, was screaming and threatening a mother named Erika Baze and her eight-year-old daughter, Kimberly, for peacefully protesting near her Bakersfield, California home last Friday.
The mother, Baze, and her daughter encountered the teacher when they were just leaving a Back Lives Matter protest. Baze said Maxwell “jumped out of nowhere” and began shouting at them, telling them they weren’t welcome in the area.
The startled mother began recording Maxwell when she became even more aggressive: “I will f***ing kill you,” Maxwell can be heard saying in the footage. Little Kimberley told her mother she was scared and can be heard crying. The teacher had to be dragged away from the mother by her shirtless husband.
Social media users who came across the disturbing video quickly identified Maxwell as the woman in the viral clip. While Police said they were investigating the incident, Bakersfield City School District Superintendent Doc Ervin also said the district is investigating. Maxwell has now issued a statement through her attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, apologizing for her poor actions, calling them a by-product of “anxiety, frustration, and panic,” caused in-part by over caring for an elderly mother and an autistic son.
“I had seen news coverage of the protest turning into riots across the country and was aware that the protests near my home had turned to confrontations the day before,” Maxwell said. When I heard protesters gathering near my home, loudly chanting profanities, I became overwhelmed with anxiety and fear,” The Daily Mail quotes.
Maxwell claims she called the police but was allegedly told there was nothing they could do:
“There was a woman who became confrontational and I responded in an inappropriate manner,” Maxwell said in her statement. “I never spoke to or threatened this woman’s daughter. I have never been in a physical altercation in my life.”
Maxwell says she is “humiliated by her actions,” and also apologized to anyone hurt by her behavior in the video. While speaking on George Floyd, Maxwell added,
“Every man, woman, and child deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion, and equality, regardless of the color of their skin, and every person deserves to live a life free of fear,’ Maxwell said. “I am heartbroken to think that any of my students or their parents might see that video and believe that it is in any way reflective of my values or views regarding race or inclusivity.”
Despite her little apology, Baze told KGET in a counter-statement that her apology was for those who were “outraged by the video,” and Maxwell was only sorry because she was caught by the public.
“This is a press release from a lawyer that Ms. Maxwell has secured, full of excuses for Ms. Maxwell’s behavior,” she said.