May 6th, 2005

Brian and Anne

Student suspended over refusing to get off phone call from mom in Iraq

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 - The County school superintendent is Dr. John A. Phillips, Jr. His phone number and email address are 706-649-0685 and