A special needs student who brought a picture of a bomb to school that he drew has been suspended. The student, 13-year-old Rhett Parham, enjoys drawing and watching videos of his favorite game Bomberman 64 on YouTube.
He drew a picture of an a old fashioned bomb and took it to his school – Hillcrest Middle School in Simpsonville, SC. At one point on Monday during one of his classes, he told his classmates that he "had a bomb" and showed them his drawing. This apparently led to the school suspending him.
His mother, Amy Parham, was shocked and outraged.
"I said, 'Are you kidding me?'" said his mother Amy Parham.
"I don't really think he understands the brevity of this whole situation because of his disability," she added.
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.
Parham said that she may transfer her son to a different school, but her son wants to stay at Hillcrest Middle.
"I like the school and it's great," said Rhett. "And I like school at Hillcrest Middle."
The school was to hold a "manifestation hearing" Wednesday night, but the results of that meeting have not been released. The hearing is to determine if Rhett's behavior was caused by his disability. If the school decides that it was not related to his disability, the 13-year-old could be disciplined like any other student.
SourceFed offers its opinion on this story here. We think the school owes this boy and his mother an apology for overacting and the mistreatment of a child with special needs, but that's just our opinion on this story.
Source: WBTW. Thanks to SeanB for the links.
Image via NY Daily News.