Now comes the story of Aiden Steward, 9, whose principal suspended the fourth-grader for telling a fellow student he would make that student disappear using his make-believe “one ring” from the “Lord of the Rings” movie series.
The story unfolded at an elementary school in Kermit, Texas, after Aiden went to the movies with his family to see the newly released “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” Aiden’s father said that when Aiden went to school in the days following the movie, his son was simply acting out what he saw on the silver screen.
“When I watched ‘Superman’ as a kid,” the senior Steward told the press, “I went outside and tried to fly.”
(Didn’t most of us?)
School principal Roxanne Greer wasn’t buying it. She suspended Aiden for a maximum of three days for making a “terroristic threat.”
Aw c’mon, Roxanne. Your punishment was too severe for the “crime.” You went over the top. Just like you did earlier in the year, giving Aiden two in-school suspensions — once for referring to a fellow student as “black” (Horror of horrors!) and once for taking “The Big Book of Knowledge” to school as the class was studying the solar system. Aiden’s teacher supposedly took issue with one of the illustrations in the book. It showed a pregnant woman. (Oh, my gosh!)
Have the aliens from New Mexico migrated to west-central Texas? Did we just not see the invasion of the body-snatchers, who hatched and took over Kermit’s schools?
Aren’t the punishments at Kermit Elementary School a little too tough and unforgiving?
At most, for any of these so-called “infractions,” Aiden – or any other kid his age – should be sent to the principal’s office for counseling in the company of the kid’s parents. Or he should have to skip a recess to write 100 times “I will not … .”
Honestly, was the Texas Education Code’s rules of student conduct violated? I think not.
Perhaps the faculty and administrators at Kermit Elementary need to review the federal “Discipline Guideline Package to Enhance School Climate and Improve School Discipline Policies/Practices, authored and distributed by the Education Department and the Justice Department. Both agencies concluded that suspension and expulsion in U.S. schools often is unnecessary and overly used as means of student discipline.