ShaQuanda Cotton, who in 2006 was sentenced to up to 7 years confinement at a Texas juvenile detention facility as a black teen following accusations that she pushed a white teacher’s aide, announces the release of her new book, ‘Memoir of a “Teacher Slapping” On September 30, 2005, 14-year-old ShaQuanda Cotton attempted to enter a school building to take a prescribed medication before classes began. An encounter with a teacher’s aide on her way to the nurse’s office that morning led to her arrest, and months later the teen was adjudicated delinquent by a Lamar County court for assault on a public servant. What began as an ordinary day at school resulted in her being removed from the care of her mother and sentenced to an indeterminate term of up to seven years in a Texas juvenile detention facility. Cotton, now 30, recently published a personal account of the ordeal after years of being subjected to rumors and vitriol in the small town of Paris, Texas.
Cotton’s story made world headlines in 2007 after local and national media reported on her detainment as well as the racial disparities within the Lamar County criminal justice system that many suggest played a role in her harsh sentencing. Just months prior to Cotton, who is African American, being sentenced, the same judge sentenced a white juvenile to probation for a more serious crime. Cotton had no prior criminal record, whereas the white teen did.
Cotton was released following an outcry that led to famed comedian and radio show host Rickey Smiley organizing a protest in the Texas town where the incident occurred. Since her release, she has been working to overcome related personal challenges that have impacted her over time.
Her book, Memoir of a “Teacher Slapping B#!@%”: I Am ShaQuanda Cotton, is the first full narrative from Cotton who says she hopes it will be “a real step toward healing for not only me but others who have experienced injustice and trauma that made them feel voiceless.”
The book is available for sale now through Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book retailers online.