You would think that most schools now a days are into progressive discipline and restorative practices. It was not the case in these ten situations. Here are ten of the most bizarre cases of student suspensions:
This is one of those stories that seems absolutely hard to picture. In 2013, a 6-year-old boy from Colorado was suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. Not only did the kiss get the boy suspended from school, but the school accused him of sexual harassment. Kids at this age don’t know anything about sex or sexual harassment. So can they be accused of such behavior? It’s just too difficult to process for a parent like myself.
9. Kindergartner Violates Dress Code By Wearing Mohawk Haircut
When a five-year-old kindergarten student, Ethan Clos, returned to school after spring break with a spiked Mohawk haircut in 2013, he was quickly sent home for violating the school district’s dress code and told that he couldn’t return until he changed his hair style. Ethan thought he was “cool” after he got the haircut during spring break last week and he got a lot of attention from his classmates. So why ruin a boy’s fun? Isn’t that what freedom of expression is all about.
8. Boy Suspended When Teacher Confuses Clock for Bomb
Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas on Monday after a teacher thought a clock he brought to school was a dangerous device. Ahmed wasn’t charged, but he was suspended from school for three days. Ahmed’s father emigrated from Sudan and believes his son was targeted because of his ethnicity and religion. News of the arrest sparked an outpouring of support for Ahmed, including from President Barack Obama.
7. Middle School Student’s Platonic Hugs to a Friend
Florida middle schooler and honor student, Nick Martinez, had no dirty thoughts in mind when giving his best friend, a female student, a quick hug between classes. That hug got him was suspended. As it turns out, Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay has a strict no-hugging policy, in order to prevent harassment. At a time when the bullying epidemic is such a big deal, a mutual, platonic embrace shouldn’t be punished. No wonder kids are so good at bullying and antagonizing others. They’re not allowed to do the opposite!
6. California Teenager Suspended for Coming to the Aid of a Blind Student
A California teenager was recently hailed as a hero for rushing to the aid of a blind classmate who was being beaten up by a bully. The high school student and have-a-go-hero was suspended and the school was investigating his actions for breaching their ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on violence. Although the bully was arrested, thankfully the hero was not. We need more of them around and they shouldn’t feel threatened to intervene and help out.
5. Student Refuses to Step on Jesus, Gets Suspension
Ryan Rotela, a student at Florida Atlantic University, refused to participate in a professor’s classroom exercise, and found himself suspended. Sounds a bit harsh, maybe, but some might argue that order must be kept in the classroom. But what if that classroom exercise involved writing the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, putting the paper on the floor and then stepping on it? While other classmates performed the exercise in this 2013 incident, Rotela said the act showed disrespect for his religion. When he complained to administrators, Rotela found himself suspended, not for refusing to participate, but for complaining. The incident sparked debate in the media, and the university later apologized to the student.
4. Student Suspended For Wearing American Flag T-Shirts
A Texas high school student was given an in-school suspension last week for wearing an American flag T-shirt to school. The reason for wearing the t-shirt was to support the military, which the student wanted to join, and to help others who are in need. The school’s dress code allows for students to wear solid color shirts only. Exceptions to this rule are made for shirts that have school and college logos or shirts supporting the military. What happened to patriotism?
US School Student was suspended this year ‘For Wearing Nobody Knows I’m A Lesbian T-Shirt’. Briana Popour, an openly gay teenager at Chesnee High School in South Carolina, was reportedly told by teachers: “You need to change your shirt or go home.” For Popour, the t-shirt was part of her identity and simply a case of freedom of expression. She’s worn the t-shirt before, but this is the first time she’s been reprimanded. The suspension occurred despite the school handbook allowing it.
2. Girl Suspended For Saying ‘Bless You’ After Sneeze
This sounds almost like an urban legend, a tale that a Christian might have invented to highlight how God has been taken out of American schools (and in fact, there is an urban legend about a student being suspended for saying, “Merry Christmas.”) But a girl at Dyer County (Tenn.) High School says she was suspended in August 2014 for telling a fellow student, “bless you,” after they sneezed. Kendra Turner told WMC TV in Memphis that her teacher said she had broken a rule against using religious terms. “She said that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class,” Turner said, “and that’s when I said we have a constitutional right. … It’s all right to defend God and it’s our constitutional right, because we have a freedom of religion and freedom of speech.”
1. Boy Makes Gun-Shaped Pop-Tart, Gets Suspension
Nothing better illustrates the zero tolerance some schools have for guns than this bizarre tale. Anne Arundel County school officials suspended 7-year-old Josh Welch in 2013 after he made a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun (he said he was trying to chew it into the shape of a mountain.) “Everyone keeps asking me why I did it,” Welch told reporters. “I don’t know why I did it … I wish people would stop asking me about it. It’ll probably go on for 45 years or something.”