LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- Last Thursday, 30-year-old Alicia Leal went to eat lunch with her kids at Lincolnton Middle School.
"So when you visit the school or you try to take your kid, pick them up, they ask you for a license," Leal said.
Leal does not have a driver’s license; instead she presents her valid Mexican passport.
In an email regarding the visitor's policy, Lincoln County School District leaders said, “They can use any form of ID that has their date of birth listed on the ID. This can include but not be limited to green card, driver’s license, passport, real ID, N.C. ID, or military ID.”
But on this day, she says it was not the same employee who had accepted her passport twice before.
The employee asked for ID, and Leal said she did not have one.
Leal said the employee did not ask her for another form of ID.
“Instead she started comments saying, 'Oh these people without license in this country, I can't believe they're here, and they're driving without a license,' and I was just standing there, she was telling another teacher,” Leal said.
Leal received a visitor's badge, ate lunch with her children, walked to her car, and began to drive off when she saw two sheriff's deputy patrol cars pass her.
The deputy pulled her over.
“I was about to tell him, I don't have a license, and he didn't let me finish and he's like 'yeah, I know, we got a call from Lincolnton Middle School saying that you don't have a license,' ” Leal explained.
The sheriff's office did confirm they were notified by the school that there was a parent driving without a license.
“’If I see you driving again,' he said, 'I'm going to take you to jail, and your baby is going to DSS,’ ” Leal stated.
The deputy gave her a ticket for driving without a license.
“It’s hard, it’s hard when you have kids, and you try to be around them, they're one week with me and one week with their dad, that’s why I go and have lunch with them, because they call me and say 'mom go see us, we miss you' ... and what this lady did to me, it’s not right," Leal said.
The following day, the school principal and district leaders met with Leal and apologized to her and asked to continue to come visit her children.
She said she never will again.
District officials say the investigation with the employee is ongoing and is a personnel matter at this time. They are not aware of any comments made about Leal's immigration status and that is false information as far as they are aware.