A Texas mother is under investigation for a video that shows her forcing her young son to leave home because he voted for Donald Trump in a mock election at his elementary school.
The cellphone video shows the mother shooing the sobbing boy out the front door with a suitcase that she told him she had packed for him.
“Since you voted for Donald Trump, you can get your (expletive) and get out,” she says in the video, which has been shared widely on social media since the woman posted it online. “The suitcase is packed by the door – been packed since this morning. Bye.”
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office outside Houston called the video “disturbing” and “disgusting” and said in a statement that it was investigating to determine whether the mother could face criminal charges.
The woman, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, told detectives the video was meant to be a joke, the sheriff’s department said.
“The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office does not see this as a joke and we are taking the matter seriously,” the statement said.
“My heart breaks for what this poor child endured,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said.
In the video, the mother is seen handing her son a sign that reads, “My mom kicked me out because I voted for Donald Trump.” She tells him he’ll have to hold the sign up outside so passersby will know why he was kicked out of his house.
The boy begins to cry and slumps down to the floor.
“Take your sign,” his mother says. “Get up!”
Reluctantly, he stands, then walks down a hallway.
“You wanna vote for him?” his mother says, opening the door.
“Okay! Okay!” the young boy concedes.
“Get your suitcase,” his mother tells him.
“No!” he cries.
“Get your suitcase and get out,” she says. “Bye. Go. We don’t do Donald Trump here.”
Later, the boy is seen walking to the curb as his mother shouts: “Bye, Donald Trump lover.”
“I’ve got school tomorrow,” he says.
“You’ve got school tomorrow? You should have thought about that. Bye,” she says. “This is where you going to be at from now on.”
“No!” he cries.
“Yes,” she replies.
When his mother asks why he voted for Trump during the mock election, the boy says he has seen the Republican businessman a lot on TV.
“Well, I hope you find another TV to see him on – ’cause this is going to be your new home,” she says. “You can’t come back here. Bye.”
Then, another boy in the video starts to cry. “My brother!” he screams.
“You can go be with the Donald Trump lover,” the mother says to the second child. “Bye.”
A neighbor told CBS affiliate KHOU that the woman’s behavior was “awful.”
“I can’t believe a mother would go against her son like that and put her kid through that much trauma,” Mike Terry, the neighbor, told the news station.
The Fort Bend County sheriff wrote Saturday on Facebook that he was aware of the video and was handling the situation.
“As a parent, I find the video appalling,” he wrote. “As your Sheriff, I have ensured the child is safe. Detectives visited with him last night. My office, CPS, the DA’s Office, and FBISD PD are all working together to ensure he remains safe. This is an active investigation so we will not comment further on it.”
But, he added: “We all agree the video is absolutely disgusting and that child should not have been subjected to such awful behavior by his Mother.”
Days later, Nehls said he was still receiving calls and emails about the video.
If authorities discover that the woman violated any laws, Nehls said Monday, “I will personally arrest her myself.”
Wesley Wittig, executive assistant district attorney, said the case is under investigation with local law enforcement and that no charges have been filed with the prosecutor’s office.
Tiffani Butler, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said that the agency is also investigating the case. The boy is safe, she said, and is still with his family.