?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Zer Netmouse
May 6th, 2005
04:31 pm

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Student suspended over refusing to get off phone call from mom in Iraq
http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/05/06/call.suspension.ap/index.html

A Columbus, GA student, Kevin Francois was suspended for 10 days after he refused to end a cell phone call from his mom, who is a soldier stationed in Iraq.

The Assistant Principal of the high school, Alfred Parham, "said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction to the teacher's request. He said the teen used profanity when taken to the office.

"Kevin got defiant and disorderly," Parham said. "When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."


I remember one time in junior high a kid brought a knife to school and was suspended for three days. This 10-day suspension is amazing to me. And I'd like to know the GA law that says a kid can get arrested for using profanity and being defiant in a principal's office.


Part of the basis for the teacher telling him to end the phone call was that it was on his cell phone, the use of which is not permitted on school grounds. Do you suppose if the mother had called the school and asked to speak to her son they would have refused her? Probably not.


I'm tempted to write to the school about this. If you want to do so, the School principal's name is Olivia T. Rutledge. You can call her at 706-685-7652 or email her at orutledge@mcsdga.net - The County school superintendent is Dr. John A. Phillips, Jr. His phone number and email address are 706-649-0685 and jphillips@mcsdga.net

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:bjorng
Date:May 6th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC)

GA Laws

(Link)
Georgia is amazingly, um, conservative when it comes to things like this.
[User Picture]
From:earthtomeryl
Date:May 6th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm not convinced that's even conservative. It's just cold.
[User Picture]
From:earthtomeryl
Date:May 6th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
(sorry, still reacting)
And what the hell happened to family values, huh?
[User Picture]
From:matt_arnold
Date:May 7th, 2005 08:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's about obedience to authority being more important than anything else. That makes it conservative. Take it from someone who graduated from Pensacola Christian College and has seen more than enough of it.
[User Picture]
From:scottij
Date:May 6th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This strikes me as something where we really don't know the whole story yet. It sounds like the student was suspended not for not hanging up the call (though I do think they were wrong to insist on that), but for being disrespectful and using obscenities when he refused to hang up the call.

I still think a 10 day suspension is excessive, though.
[User Picture]
From:eleri
Date:May 6th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It sounds like they upped it from a lower suspension when he got more threatening and agressive. It also sounds like he never said anything like "Hey, sorry, it's my mom on the phone", just went straight to being sassy. So in this case I think they handled it well.

I feel sorry for his mom, having to listen to him behave like that!
[User Picture]
From:netmouse
Date:May 6th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
um, actually, his mom takes partial responsibility for having called him. I was personally be pleased if my son refused to hang up on me, though if I was on the phone I would have asked to speak to the teacher myself and resolved the issue parent-to-teacher rather than leave my son to deal with it in the midst of his anxiety about my being in a really dangerous place really far away.

I suspect that the teacher also failed to start off polite and went straight to confrontational. Another way to interpret the student's tone is as defensive rather than sassy. Personally I think it should be fine for a 17-year-old to contradict an adult, even a teacher. Swearing, causing a disturbance, and breaking the rules are all different topics. Personally I don't think any of them warrant losing two weeks of instruction out of a 14-week semester.
[User Picture]
From:jeffreyab
Date:May 7th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Soldiers in Iraq have to call when they get time.

They are not allowed to pick and choose when they call.

I really have a problem with this school esp since he took the call on his on time during lunch hour.

I agree with Matt its a control issue and I do not agree with the school's rigidity. Times change and a Fort Benning area school needs to adapt to new circumstances. The kid only has one parent and this was a chance to talk to her, what if it was his last chance?
[User Picture]
From:netmouse
Date:May 6th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
(according to the article, "He said he told the teacher, 'This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom.' " Is that being sassy?)
From:nicegeek
Date:May 7th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
(Link)
They reduced his suspension to three days.

I take a mixed view on this whole story:

1) The school's disallowing cell phone use outside of class seems unnecessary.

2) The school claims that the student use profanity, screamed, and threatened the teacher.

2a) It's quite plausible that a seventeen year old male student could be very intimidating toward a female teacher.

3) The student claims that he didn't curse or threaten, and that the teacher wouldn't listen to him when he said that it was his mother in Iraq.

3a) That's also plausible; I could easily see a teacher enforcing a no-phone policy without stopping to consider any special circumstances, or possibly without believing the student's claim.

4) If the school's version is accurate, even a ten-day suspension would not be unwarranted; threatening a teacher is something no school can tolerate from a student. Even if the teacher was being completely unreasonable, the correct response is to appeal to a higher school authority, and/or politely but firmly refuse to obey.

5) If the student's version of events is completely correct, then the worst he should get is perhaps a detention for the policy violation, and that only if the school insisted on being rigid to the point of insensitivity.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between the two versions, but without firsthand knowledge, I feel that I need to withhold judgment until/unless I get some more reliable facts.
[User Picture]
From:netmouse
Date:May 9th, 2005 09:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, the he-said she-said situation is always hard to interpret. If the student actually screamed then the school should be able to produce witnesses to that effect.

I'm pleased to see that they reduced his suspension to three days and I hope they will reconsider their cell phone policy although I think it may take some more time before they do that.
Netmouse on the web Powered by LiveJournal.com