A group of Maryland Girl Scouts were subjected to racist taunts during a meeting in Cecil County. Chesapeake Bay Troop 176 members attended an April 29 meeting of the county’s Animal Care and Control Oversight Commission, but it went awry at the end.
Troops were speaking out about the treatment of animals at the county facility.
“I felt really bad for the animals because that wasn’t a really good home for them,” said 10 year old Amayah Spurlock.
“We thought that it wasn’t right to treat our animals the wrong way, so I wanted to give reasons why they shouldn’t,” said Tamara Spurlock, 11.
While speaking out against animal cruelty, supporters of the county’s animal control vendor, A Buddy for Life, began shouting racially tinged remarks at them.
“They were saying, ‘Go back to Baltimore, where you belong,’ and they started pointing out me and my sisters,” said Spurlock, who is African-American.
“I was like sad and mad at the same time,” Amayah said.
“They were calling us, like animals and stuff,” Arianna said. “And I didn’t really know why because if they are calling us animals, aren’t they supposed to be helping animals?”
A male co-leader of the troop is seen on the video defending the scouts and trying to deescalate the situation.
“You guys, no racial comments, okay?” he’s heard telling the adults on the video. “Saying that they belong in Baltimore because they’re black, that is wrong. Please don’t say that okay?”
In parts of the video, you can hear some of the older girls yelling back at the adults.
“Wait, we were coached? We were coached?” asked one of the girls.
According to A Buddy for Life Co-Director Jen Callahan the troop members were coached and told people to disregard what they were saying.
“The Girl Scouts came out and had some things to say, I understand that they were coached with what to say,” she said.
“Hey, they’re kids!” someone in the crowd shouts.
“Excuse me, the Girl Scouts were not coached,” interjects Mitchell-Werbrich.
“Miss Jayne never told us what to say,” said Lily Talley, 11, who made a public comment during the meeting. “And we actually thought of it by ourselves.”
In a statement Callahan also denied that anyone working with the organization was behind the racial taunts.
“A Buddy for Life, Inc. cannot control the words or actions of citizens that attended that meeting. A Buddy for Life, Inc. does not condone the behavior that was on display after the meeting.”