Civil Liberties

Drawing of Cartoon Bomb Gets Middle School Student Suspended in South Carolina



doesn't take a rocket scientist

That student told his classmates he had a bomb and showed them a drawing of one from a 90s era video game, he should be suspended—that was the line of thinking at Hillcrest Middle School in Simpsonville, South Carolina where 13-year-old special needs student Rhett Parham was reportedly suspended for just that.

The school, and "education advocates," defended the decision, as relayed by

Greenville County Schools issued a statement that reads in part, "This investigation began when threatening comments were made, resulting in the responsible removal of the student from the school to ensure everyone's safety while the incident and intent were assessed."

"Principals are in a very difficult spot with this. They have a lot of interests that they're trying to juggle," said Janet Stein, Director of the South Carolina Education Association's member advocacy program.

She claims that the Hillcrest Middle School's Principal did what he had to do in order to protect the school and its students.

"If he had not done what he did and had decided that student didn't mean it, it doesn't mean anything—if something had happened, the district would have been accountable for that," said Stein.

You have to do something. Better "safe" than sued.

Parham is diagnosed with autism, so if the school decides that caused his behavior, his suspension will be overturned. Because a 13-year-old should know better than to draw things he's seen in Bomberman 64.

More Reason on zero tolerance.