Schools

12-Year-Old Boy Suspended for Looking at a Girl. At Her Face. That's It.

At least he wasn't arrested.

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Eyes
Dreamstime

Kids can get in trouble for smooching. They can get in trouble for touching. They can get in trouble for chewing, playing with toys, and making sugary snacks. They can get in trouble for waving their hands the wrong way (don't even get me started on pencil-twirlers). And yes, they can even get in trouble for staring.

According to WLWT.com, the principal at St. Gabriel Consolidated School—a private institution—suspended a pair of 12-year-old boys for a day for playing a staring game with a female student:

Tolbert believes her son and another student at St. Gabriel were unfairly punished.

Tolbert said the boys got into a staring match with a female student last school year.

"He was playing a game with her. He said she was laughing. They were engaged. When she finally giggled and said stop. He stopped," Tolbert said.

The female student was cited in court papers as saying she also stared at the boys.

The relevant part of the school code gives administrators the power to suspend without hearing any student "whose presence possesses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting academic learning."

Fearing that the suspension would brand her son's permanent record with the mark of bullying and intimidating behavior, Candice Tolbert filed suit against the school. She lost the case earlier this week, but has considered appealing the ruling.

Students at private schools don't have the same rights as students at public schools, and St. Gabriel administrators have wider latitude to hand out punishments. The court's decision was probably the right one.

Even so, a one-day suspension for continuing a staring contest seems just a tad bit overboard. Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they're doing something odd?

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  1. How about narrow gazing contests?

    1. *narrows gaze*

      1. Yeees, yesss! Come to the Narrow Side!

      2. Trigger warnings first, y’all.

      3. Why are you folks always messin with the gaze? Leave those folks alone! It’s their choice and all.

        1. I nominate you as “King of the Internet” for a day … that was freakin’ hysterical.

    2. *squints*

      Go ahead, make my day.

    3. *widens gaze* *applies visine* I can do this all day
      Then….
      *giggles* *blinks*
      Oh well….

  2. Private. School. So, a dick move but not an issue of public policy.

    1. Students at private schools don’t have the same rights as students at public schools, and St. Gabriel administrators have wider latitude to hand out punishments. The court’s decision was probably the right one.

      Even so, a one-day suspension for continuing a staring contest seems just a tad bit overboard. Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they’re doing something odd?

      1. Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they’re doing something odd?

        Why is this even an “administrative” issue? I remember my 9th grade Science class. Before class started, I was talking to the pretty young lady who sat in front of me about her weekend plans, she was excited about her date with a “football stud”. Class starts and Mr. P is writing equations on the chalkboard, and I lean forward to ask her if she was going to “swallow”…

        She immediately turns and slaps my face… HARD. The entire class laughed, she buried her face in her hands and I sat there looking stupid with a bright red handprint on my face.

        Mr P turned around, assessed the situation, and said to me, “I’d bet you deserved that…” I said “Yup”, He went back to the chalkboard.

        And nothing else happened… except we apologized to each other, and she was my “lab partner” for the rest of the year.

        1. Labial-type lab?

        2. My story relates more to today’s zero tolerance for weapons or anything weapon-like. When I was in 6th grade (1979) we had a day of Olympic-style athletic competition, and I found some discarded caps from the starter pistol that the coach was using to start races. When we returned to class, I was trying to figure out how to make “good use” of these caps. While the teacher (substitute, fortunately) had her back turned, in an otherwise quiet classroom, I put one of the caps on the end of my scissors and banged it on the desk. It went off with an extremely loud report and surprisingly thick cloud of smoke. Most of the boys jumped up to run over and see what I had. The smoke hung in a layer over my desk. The teacher told everyone to “settle down” and return to their seats. Class continued with not a single word said to me by the teacher. Today, we’d have a neighborhood-wide lockdown and a swat team crawling through the ceilings.

          I was good at some things but critical thinking was not always one of them.

          1. Can you imagine what they would do to you now for that?

            You’d probably lose your 2nd Amendment rights after they hit you with a some kind of felony AND a “mental-illness” tag.

            I doubt if you’d be able to even attend most public schools under anything other than some sort of “Security-risk” status or be sent to a “special” facility.

            You’d have a label similar to a sex-offender that followed you for years to come.

            I doubt if you’d even be allowed to attend a public college or most private ones.

            1. or you could be invited to the White House and get sweet sweet job offers from facebook and gogole.

              #Istandwithscratchee

              1. That depends entirely on if Scratchee is of an Approved Minority or not, or if it is politically expedient to do so.

    2. So private and charter schools aren’t the answer to asinine disciplinary issues.

      1. No, but it is easier to punish asinine behavior in private entities, or at least not put up with it.

        1. Huh, the term Fag for gay folks makes much more sense now.

          1. The senior, sometimes called the fag-master, was the protector of his fags and responsible for their good conduct.

            We need one of these for H ‘n R. Any nominations?

            1. FoE. Since he is always first, he can have the honor of being the first fag-master.

                1. SO THE REST OF YOU BETTER FALL INTO LINE.

                  1. I was sort of hoping for Jesse.

    3. But failing to apply the same standards based on the sex of the actors is actionable even in the realm of private business. Not that it should be, but that is the law.

      1. No no

        Getting suspended was his male privilege in action.

  3. Yeah, but you know what he was thinking about doing to her pretty, pre-teen face. Little pervert deserves to be punished.

    1. …what boy entering puberty would escape a whipping?

      1. “When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.” — Mark Twain

    2. If I remember anything about being a teenager, the constant unrequited perversion was a punishment.

    3. Hey! Her face is up there.

  4. Staring contests are odd behavior? Pretty sure I had a few of those in my day. People like to find things with which to compete with each other.

    1. Not odd, but It does depend on if they were doing this during class or study period rather than break time.

      1. stop blaming periods you mansplaining misogynist

    2. The only acceptable form of competition is one where everyone wins. Both people participating in a staring contest can’t win, so the boy must be punished.

    3. Hell, I have what amount to adult staring contests pretty regularly. Its called “negotiating”.

      I find the ability to just give somebody a silent, dead-eyed stare after I’ve made my final offer to be very effective. Thinking about grabbing the back of their head and smacking their face on the table while delivering the stare seems to give it some extra oomph.

  5. I guess I can see suing to try and protect the kid’s Permanent Record…it is a scary world that way, but mostly I say vote with those dollars.

  6. Fun fact: I cannot be beaten in staring contests. I can stare, without blinking, for an unlimited amount of time.

    Also: This is the worst medium for testing such a claim.

    1. That’s just what an SJW would say! Burn him!

    2. You’re right! I found a photo of you online, stared at it, and you never blinked once. Amazing!

    3. Rico Suave blinked AND YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

    4. TO PERISCOPE!

    5. As I remember it, the key to winning was not staring, but letting your gaze go vacant enough that you would stop blinking.

      Robby, do you have a different, black-magic method?

      1. It’s not just his gaze that is vacuous.

      2. Robby, do you have a different, black-magic method?

        No one is able to keep their eyes from scanning up to his beautiful hair.

      3. And as Nikki gazed into the abyss, the abyss also gazed into Nikki…

        …and was like, omg what this is the worst

      4. Nope, that’s what I do!

        1. Skillz.

        2. A battle of vacancy, not of wills.

    6. I’m doubtful of your claim, but only because I imagine you have so many people staring at you all the time.

    7. I can’t not blink. Stupid dry contacts. I don’t produce enough tears.

      1. Dude, that NYT article about how you are supposed to be constantly crying is a joke (intentional or otherwise).

        Real men need two, maybe three tears per year.

        1. Crying, acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.

          1. Only if the funeral is for your wife – and she died in a car crash – and she was driving your new car and not the old family mini-van.

            Also add the end of Old Yeller

            1. And during sports movies – “I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.”

              1. I watched Brian’s Song and laughed my ass off.

              1. Ummmm…..

                I have a total of maybe 10 minutes watching Parks & Recreation. So I didn’t steal anything from him. (maybe this was for Crusty?)

                Actually I thought I was ripping off P. J. O’Rourke more than anyone.

            2. I cried after Fight Club.

        2. …and bourbon, much bourbon.

    8. Proof Robby is a lizard = illuminati kon furmed

      1. Is Robby Mr. Lizard? Because that would make my universe make more sense.

    9. If you are so fucking good at staring, how come you didn’t get a scholarship to Columbia? I hear that their NCAA staring team is quite the deal.

      I remember when Anna Merlen powered the Columbia team into the Final Four of Staring when she pulled a huge upset over the BYU Male Gaze team in ’98.

    10. I win staring contests using this one weird, old trick.

  7. Well, at least it wasn’t a provocative eating contest.

    Seriously, FFS!

  8. School administrators need to take a hard look (~stare) at their behavior….

  9. From the standpoint of freedom, the news is that a court upheld the right of private schools to govern themselves.

    Stipulating that the school did something dumb, we can’t have the courts overruling every dumb decision by a private school (of course, contractual violations are another matter, but apparently that was covered by the rule giving the principal unlimited power).

    1. “In the Agoge, we were trained to be hard…”

  10. It’s a private school. Their stupid decision wasn’t made on my dime, the parents have a choice as to how their kid should be educated, and nobody called the cops. I really couldn’t give a shit.

    1. “nobody called the cops”

      I would imagine that suing the school involved a *potential* use of cops, because cops enforce court orders.

    2. On the other hand, the kind of people who send their kids to private school are the kind of people who have the resources and typically the temperament to foist the sorts of rules they think are self-evidently enlightened on the rest of society. So I think there’s nothing wrong with highlighting these sorts of troubling cultural trends that can lead to more frightful issues down the road, even when they ostensibly involve only private actors.

      1. That is a good point. Our betters mostly do not send their kids to public schools.

      2. That’s not necessarily the case. Many kids going to Catholic schools do not come from wealthy families.

        1. They’re just unlucky.

  11. The freed nipple will not be safe until we’re sure that boys will not look at girls.

    1. “I’ll tell me Ma when I go home
      the boys won’t leave the girls alone
      They pull my hair, they stole my comb
      but that’s alright ’til I get home…”

  12. I can remember being in 4th grade and watching this 8th grade boy making fun of this pretty 8th grade girl by repeatedly calling her “lucifer’s daughter”. She was visibly upset. It was the end of the day and then we got on the school bus to go home and nothing else happened.

    1. Of course, waffles omits that this was at Hogwarts and the girl was a succubus.

    2. Was this a Catholic school? I can’t imaging that “working” anywhere else.

  13. Correct court decision.

    Parents should have read and understood the school handbook.

    Don’t like the service then take your business elsewhere.

  14. “He was playing a game with her. He said she was laughing. They were engaged. When she finally giggled and said stop. He stopped,” Tolbert said.

    The female student was cited in court papers as saying she also stared at the boys.

    However, the Cincinnati Archdiocese said the 12-year-old boys were suspended for one day after the girl’s parents complained.

    The female student said the boys cornered her in a classroom closet.

    A teacher described what the girl told her in court papers.

    “She said that during snack time, she was approached by (the student). He walked up to her, said nothing, just stared at her,” said the teacher.

    That might be what got him suspended.

    1. So there are conflicting accounts. One where he acted like most 12 year olds girl liked what he was doing, and the other where he was doing some stalkers behavior which the girl presumably did not like.

      Who is not telling the truth?

      1. There ought to be some person in authority at the school with the power to make quick judgment calls on these sorts of issues.

        /sarc

        1. “She said that during snack time, she was approached by (the student). He walked up to her, said nothing, just stared at her”

          if he had said something it would all be ok, right? or can we admit that the rule is: “she felt uncomfortable, so he got in trouble.”

  15. I shudder to think of all the staring contests we don’t hear about!

    1. A “hint” of cleavage?

      Yeah, and the Pacific Ocean is “damp.”

  16. Suspension? Catholic schools ain’t what they used to be. The penguins of old would have bruised skin.

  17. ‘”The thousand-yard stare. A middle-schooler gets it after he’s been in the shit for too long. It’s like you’ve really seen…beyond. I got it. All pre-teens got it. You’ll have it, too.”

  18. Now, in an *English* private school, they lock you in the basement without food or water if you eat your pudding before you’ve finished your meat.

  19. “Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they’re doing something odd?”

    Because “knock” is a cismale paternalistic word of aggression and intimidation.

  20. The parent should take her business elsewhere. That simple.

    With state schools you can’t do that. No matter how shitty the school is, if you refuse to pay the extortion rate to fund it, eventually folks in blue costumes will come and confiscate your property.

  21. “Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they’re doing something odd?”

    Because the students will cry to mommy and daddy that the mean administrator harrassed him/her. That’s why.

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  23. You consider kids playing to be odd behavior???

  24. To quote the philosophers Chumbawamba in their seminal work /Give the Anarchist a Cigarette/:

    Burn
    It
    Down.

    “Nothing every burns down by itself every fire needs a little bit of help”.

    Of course what they want to burn down is Western Civilization, what I want to burn down is the socialist nightmares they’ve advocated their entire existence, but hey, at least we agree *something* needs a thermobaric cleansing.

  25. “Why have school administrators lost the collective will to simply tell kids hey, knock it off, when they’re doing something odd?”

    Ummm… What’s odd about staring contests? My wife and I have both done it with the kids, and still sometimes with each other. Seems a pretty normal thing to do.

  26. Private schools have freedom when making their punishment decisions, but they are not immune to sexual discrimination charges. If the boy and girl both stared, con-sensually, then why was the girl not also suspended? Putting the burden only on the male is discriminatory. If investigation shows that the school frequently only punished the male, a civil action is in order.

  27. When I was in Berkeley a few years ago, I was looking at this nice looking lady and she told me:
    “Stop raping me with your eyes.’

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