School Choice

9-Year-Old Boy Suspended for Using Lord of the Rings Magic on Fellow Student

One ring to bring them all, and in the stupidity of zero tolerance bind them.


LOTR / Youtube

A nine-year-old boy's love of The Lord of the Rings has gotten him in trouble with a power more terrible and despotic than Sauron himself: school administrators.

The boy, Aiden Steward, was suspended by officials at Kermit Elementary School in Kermit, Texas, after he tried to make a classmate disappear using his magic ring. Steward had just seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was inspired by the timeless fantasy stories of J.R.R. Tolkien that have entertained kids, teens, and adults for generations.

Since Steward was not in possession of the One Ring To Rule Them All, his attempts at dark magic failed. Still, administrators considered it a "terroristic threat" and had no choice but to take action, according to Odessa American.

Steward has also been in trouble two other times: once for "referring to another student's skin color," (whether the reference was offensive or not is unknown) and again for bringing a book that featured a pregnant woman to school. Bear in mind—he's nine.

I hardly think a bit of harmless, imaginative make-believe is grounds for serious punishment. As Reason's Lenore Skenazy has observed, kids are supposed to make up stories with each other, cultivate their creative interests, and even get into a little mischief now and then. This doesn't even appear to rise to the level of mischief. Only under a culture of zero-tolerance discipline and safety paranoia, where every small act is assumed to carry maximum ill-intent, could Steward's actions be considered wrong.

School administrators: The orcs of childhood.

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  1. “Steward had just seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was inspired by the timeless fantasy stories of J.R.R. Tolkien that have entertained kids, teens, and adults for generations.”

    You just said he watched the Hobbit movie.

    1. That movie had nothing to do with Tolkien and was more a Peter Jackson fanfic than anything. Stupid Hollywood…

  2. This reads like an Onion article. Unbelievable. I can no longer tell the difference between news and satire. Mumble, mumble…going home.

    1. I am actually comfortable if Western Civ falls. We deserve it.

      1. Agreed. When the Mohammedan invaders, or the Chinese, or the Japanese robot army arrive, I will gladly welcome the new masters and let them water their horses (or robot-horses) with my bathtub.

  3. It all began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Administrators; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven, to the Principals, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Teachers, who above all else desire power. For within these rings was bound the strength and the will to govern over each race. But they were all of them deceived, for another ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Superintendant forged in secret, a master ring, to control all others. And into this ring he poured all his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One ring to rule them all.

    1. No, these administrators are the evil Hobbits from the Scouring of the Shire.

      1. there are no evil hobbits.

        1. Corruptible Hobits, then.

        2. Gollum?

          1. Wasn’t a hobbit. Don’t ask me how I know- I don’t seek this knowledge, I just can’t forget things.

            1. Gollum was a Stoor Hobbit of the River-folk, who lived near the Gladden Fields. Originally known as Sm?agol, he was corrupted by the One Ring and later named Gollum after his habit of making “a horrible swallowing noise in his throat”.

              1. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Part Three, IV. “The Hunt for the Ring”, p 353, note 9, ISBN 0-395-29917-9. In a letter quoted by Christopher Tolkien, Tolkien refers to D?agol and Sm?agol as Stoors.

                “Gollum”. Lord of the Rings Fantasy World.

                Tolkien, J. R. R. (1937), Douglas A. Anderson, ed., The Annotated Hobbit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 2002), “Riddles in the Dark”, ISBN 0-618-13470-0

            2. Gollum was a hobbit in the books; he killed his best friend while fishing in a boat. His friend found the ring underwater but wouldn’t give it to Smeagol so he killed him and ran away from the Shire – he became physically deformed from the right both corrupting him and unnaturally extending his life. In the books Gollum knows what a hobbit is and one of the hobbits (Sam?) is disgusted when he learns that Gollum was once a hobbit… this is also why Frodo tries to save his life, because he thinks he can appeal to his hobbit side.

              1. I mean ring not “right”… poor Spencer, looks like he’s getting nerd gangbanged

  4. Yeah. But what if it had worked? School income would have gone down by the amount allotted to the missing student.

    1. OTOH a rule requiring the counting of invisible students could be a great boon to school budgets.

  5. The Muggles are a prejudice lot.

    1. Confusing Tolkien with Harry Potter?

      I bet you think the Enterprise battled the Tie fighters.

      1. no, but Picard was a much better jedi than Kirk.

        1. Han Solo was Picard’s Number Two.

          1. Janeway fired first.

            1. I’ll be in my bunk.

              1. “Don’t cross the streams!” –

                Doctor Who

              2. well, you ain’t had nothing twixt your nethers…

                1. “Also, I can kill you with my brain” -Kes

      2. “I bet you think the Enterprise battled the Tie fighters.”

        Well, I’m uncertain how that battle would have gone, but the Enterprise would have been curb stomped by a Star Destroyer.

    2. You are supposed to smoke muggles.

    3. expellarimus!

      1. Um, it’s “expelliarmus.”

  6. The boy … was suspended … after he tried to make a classmate disappear using his magic ring. Still, administrators considered it a “terroristic threat” and had no choice but to take action

    Emphases added. Fuck the administrators for having no choice in their consideration.

    1. you know, if they let this boy pretend to use magic they have to let EVERYONE pretend to use magic.

      1. They are just applying the precautionary principle. If it turns out that magic is real, and this kid can make people disappear, then these administrators have successfully prevented a magic related tragedy.

        1. Well, you know, they didn’t want to offend any pagans who believe magic is real. Even though I’m pretty sure none of them believe Lord of the Rings type fantasy is real… But you know, just in case!

          1. Actually, it’s all a cover up to conceal the administrators’ dark ceremonies and their altars

        2. …then these administrators have successfully prevented a magic related tragedy.

          I think they might be usurping Police power.

          1. If it only saved the life of one child it was worth it.

            Seriously, I wish the little kid could make the administrators disappear.

    2. You don’t expect them to “think” do you? That’s not covered in their union contract.

  7. Apparently using your imagination is not part of the Common Core curriculum.

  8. I, for one, am glad that someone has stood up to the offensive practice of books featuring pregnant women. It had to be done!

    1. Every time I think of Aiden bringing a kid’s book to *school* ….

      *** shudders ****

    2. That one was weird. Do they still teach children that babies are brought by the stork, or something?

    3. Even the Catholic Church is more lax regarding books that have pregnant women in them. They hand the bible out to every kid that can read. And when those kids get some teenage girl pregnant, they know they cannot be the father, for the only way the girl could get pregnant is by the Holy Ghost…

      1. they might figure out how sex works from the song of solomon

  9. Hey, it’s Kermit, TX a less enlightened place you’ll hardly find.
    Here in suburban Phila., a high school’s spring play was all about
    forbidden teen age love, street stabbings, a religious figure providing a place for the underage lovers to screw, and suicide.
    And, you know what, there wasn’t one word of protest!

    1. I suppose it is possible that the school administrators were actually concerned that the kid might successfully use black magic.

    2. I’m betting that they’ve performed Romeo & Juliet at the Kermit High School in the past.

      But judging by this story, “A midsummer night’s dream” is probably pretty edgy.


    1. + Nine Riders

        1. I just had this weird vibe of The Lord of the Rings meets “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

          1. I think that Cthulhu Christmas songs are among the best.

          2. Well, jesus and sauron do have a lot in common.

            1. you’re confusing Jesus with Mohammed.

  11. What the hell is wrong with kids today? The Ring makes the wearer disappear; it doesn’t shoot magic invisibility rays at other people. Tsk, tsk.

    1. Indeed. If the kid has a decent lawyer getting the suspension expunged should be a slam dunk.

  12. There was an almost decent bit of coverage on Lenore Skenazy and ‘free range kids’ on last night’s news. ABC, I believe, but who notices?

  13. Don’t be fooled – They just wanted the ring for themselves

  14. This is beyond zero tolerance. Negative tolerance, perhaps.

  15. Somebody should send that kid a copy of First Blood.

    1. That the movie with Danny DeVito?

      1. I thought it was the one where Sylvester Stallone drops Jeanene Garafolo off the side of a mountain.

  16. So the school showed them how to make a kid really disappear.

    1. Nice.

    2. You can’t just make people dissapear, sir!

      Yes I can: I’m the Superindentent.

  17. Once, back in the 1970’s, I brought one of my mother’s tampons to elementary school. As I was swinging it around by the string the teacher asked me where I got it and snatched it out of my hand. Not a word was ever mentioned to my parents nor was I suspended. I suspect the outcome would be very different today …

    1. Bringing imaginary sticks of dynamite to school!

      You would still be in a cell.

  18. It seems this case suffers from a crucial lack of evidence. Unless the plaintiffs can produce this “magic ring” and demonstrate its function I believe they do not have any grounds for a complaint.

    1. You think? Doesn’t a threat have to be credible to be criminal? I can say “I’m going to shoot lasers out of my eyes and burn you up” all I want.

    2. Hell, if they can jackboot a kid for a gun-shaped poptart, then a magic ring is no problem at all.

      1. Well, there is one more absurd step needed in the reasoning for the magic ring. Guns actually exist.

        1. Well, there is one more absurd step needed in the reasoning for the magic ring. Guns actually exist.

          Only one!?!

    3. Well, in light of the fact that the “terroristic threat” was leveled with a pretend weapon, they should give the kid a pretend suspension.

      1. Well if its a public school, its already a pretend school.

  19. This never happened when kids were mostly named from the first four books of the New Testament.

  20. Well he turned me into a newt!

    1. I got better….

  21. A pregnant woman? In a book? My God…

    1. If you allow books with pregnant women, soon you’ll have Bibles in schools!

    2. Is this part of the war on women?

  22. School administrators have no imagination

    1. They imagined that this kid is a terrorist.

  23. Ha! This is nothing!
    Why, when I was a yute, we used to cast spells!

    1. “EXPELLIARMUS!!!!”

      Oh fuck, that just got me expelled!

  24. When did “terroristic” become a word?

    1. 9/11/01? My guess is 9/11/01.

      1. Naah.
        It was 9/12/01; took a full news-cycle.

  25. Next they will be saying the Kermit wasn’t named for the talking frog.

  26. I would have pulled him out after the first ridiculous accusation ugh.

  27. This is clearly a case of mental illness on the part of the school administrators. Judging from the location where this happened, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about “the downfall of western civilization”. A more likely culprit is inbreeding.

  28. *opens mouth* *closes it* *lifts finger and opens mouth again* *closes it* *shakes head and walks away, muttering angrily*

  29. I would be put to death in today’s education systems for some of the stuff I pulled in school. What a bunch of sniveling, pathetic wimps we as a people have become.

    1. Some insightful comedy group or show needs to do a skit/story about zero tolerance policies in school that includes kids being crucified and burned at the stake for their supposed infractions.

      I would suggest SP, but it would be much funnier in live action.

  30. So… school administrators don’t understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I wish I was surprised.

  31. There is a war against imagination and creativity going on in our schools. At least the Chinese and Russian Communists actually took over the government before they began their indoctrination programs. We’re letting it happen while we still have an ostensibly democratic system.

  32. It’s all those zero-tolerance policies, enforced by people who can’t see the difference between reality and fantasy. Too bad we can’t have a zero-tolerance for idiots, which would virtually eliminate public education entirely.

  33. The classmate hasn’t been seen since the incident.

  34. Congratulations – we have found our future Columbine shooter.

  35. Suspension? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for the principal to cast the child into the fiery pits of Mount Doom? It’s the ONLY way to ensure this type of dangerous behavior doesn’t happen again!

    1. Well technically you don’t have to throw the ring bearer into the fiery pits, but on the other hand, why take a chance?

  36. Texas and MANY other Red states have some the most stupid religious motivated laws while also having the most child deaths due to lax gun safety laws.

  37. The book he suposedly brought to school was “The Great Big Book of Knowledge” according to this article:…..-1.2099103

    The comments over there by “Allen Farmer” are pure gold.

  38. The school administrators in Kermit Texas are completely insane and should be thrown into the nearest nuthouse for the rest of their lives. They must be blood relatives of Rick Perry.

    1. Thought experiment for y’all:
      When I get pissed at really-really piss-poor service on my favorite airlines, I am tempted to do this:
      Threaten to bring down, not just our airplane, but the WHOLE STINKIN’ GALAXY, by exercising MY secret power, which is “booger beam”.
      “Booger beam” for ye ignoramuses out there, is to hold one nostril closed, and blow snot out upon the un-suspecting universe, sans booger-rag? Just FYI?
      HOW MANY years in jail would I get for threatening to blow up the galazy, by using “booger beam”? For blowing up the local galactic cluster w/the same? For blowing up the whole stinkin’ UNIVERSE w/the same, for Guv-Mint Almighty’s sake?!?!
      If “booger beam” sounds too threatening? How many years do I get, if I threaten to hurt yer baby feelins, by holdin’ mah breath!??!?! Or is that “capital punishment” time?

  39. Kermit residents have every reason to be terrified – this 9 year old warlock has already turned their town and their school into frogs !

  40. Were this my child, he would NOT continue his education in public schools! Terroristic threat? What a joke. No choice but suspension? An evil.

  41. I don’t typically advocate new laws, but I think this one would be appropos: Anytime shit like this happens (some dumb-ass school administrators making an asinine zero-tolerance policy call like this that results in wholly unnecessary harm to a student), the parent should be able to appear before a court and if the court recognizes the absurdity of the admininstrator’s call, then each administrator involved should go to jail for one fucking month without pay. See how quickly this dumb-ass shit stops.

  42. “terroristic threat”

    Are we at the point yet as a society where I can literally point by finger at a brownish looking person and shout “Al Quaeda!” and he will summarily be pummeled to death by strangers?

  43. Doesn’t this technically qualify as NEGATIVE tolerance because the threat is less than real?

  44. my kids are getting homeschooled. sending kids into this sort of sick and abusive environment (schools in the US) is negligent.

  45. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ??????

  46. They should turn that mischievous little prankster into a toad!

  47. Ya just can’t make $hit like this up!!!!

  48. This is why parents need to monitor what their kids watch. If the kid cannot handle the subject matter, then they should not be watching.

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