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Saddle Brook-Elmwood Park Daily Voice serves Elmwood Park & Saddle Brook

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'Pick My Cotton': Police Investigate TikTok Comments That Terrorized Elmwood Park Girl, 12

“They have thousands of followers and they are using their platform to harass and intimidate kids."
“They have thousands of followers and they are using their platform to harass and intimidate kids." Photo Credit: TikTok / DAILY VOICE

After all these months of remote learning, an Elmwood Park mom couldn’t figure out why her 7th-grade daughter resisted returning to a classroom.

“She begged me not to send her back,” the young mom said. “I couldn’t understand why. She is well-liked and intelligent. It didn’t make sense.”

Then her daughter showed her screen shots of racist comments left under a TikTok video of her dancing with friends by three male students at Elmwood Park Memorial Middle School. 

A sampling:

  • “KKK for life”
  • “pick my cotton I need some more”
  • “when I find you you will pay for escaping the farm”
  • “HISPANIC LIVES MATTER ITALIAN LIVES MATTER BLACK LIVES DO NOT MATTER”

Elmwood Park detectives began investigating the posts on Wednesday.

The 12-year-old's mother also filed a complaint with the Elmwood Park Board of Education’s harassment, intimidation and bullying specialist. She's waiting to hear back.

“I’m very chill and laid back unless you bother me or mine – but especially when it comes to [her daughter],” the young mom said.

She isn’t after severe punishment. A reprimand would suffice, she said, if it’s made clear that such behavior can’t happen again.

“I’m more concerned with her safety right now,” the mother said.

Her daughter is afraid that what began as virtual harassment, intimidation and bullying could escalate in person.

The youngster also has a friend of Indian descent whose face was altered with comments about terrorism and then posted, her mom noted.

“They have thousands of followers and they are using their platform to harass and intimidate kids,” she said. “It’s gotten out of hand.

“My daughter once loved going to school, but these kids have made her hate it. She’s been crying since last night,” her mom said Wednesday. “It’s just not right.”

“It’s gotten out of hand."

TikTok

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