The Great Valley Charter School in Modesto, California, suspended a 5-year-old after he reportedly told his teachers there was a bomb in his backpack.
The incident took place last month, when Jackson Riley’s kindergarten teacher told him to take off his bag. The kid refused to remove the bag and told his teachers there was a bomb in there that would explode if he took it off.
There were obviously no explosives in the bag, but the school did not waste time suspending the young student for an entire day — a violation that will go on his permanent record.
“So, they look in his backpack, and my son’s 5 years old. Obviously there’s no bomb in my kid’s backpack. They called me at work and said, ‘There’s been an incident at the school.’ They told me everything that my son said, and they said, ‘You need to come pick your son up, and this is going to be a one-day suspension,’” Jackson's father recalled.
The parents initially received a letter from the school letting them know their boy was suspended for his intent to “threaten, intimidate or harass others,” applying a school code system. However, there was a major problem with the school code being applied to Jackson.
As it turned out, the code only applied to students in fourth through 12th grades, while Jackson is only in kindergarten.
As if this mismanagement on the school’s part was not enough, they went ahead and mentioned on the letter the student “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation.”
The parents now want the school to take back Jackson’s suspension and remove it from his records, because first, it doesn’t apply to him and second, it was a little too extreme for punishing a young boy for just playing around.
The school officials also sent a second letter to his parents, this time claiming their son “made terroristic threats towards school officials.”
“He was sent home, and he understands you can’t say ‘bomb’ at school. But he really doesn’t understand what the threat is,” Jackson’s mother complained. “He said he couldn’t take his backpack off because it would explode, meaning he doesn’t want anybody to get hurt, so I mean, granted, it’s all in the world of pretend-play, and we’re talking about an imaginary bomb. But where was the threat? We still haven’t really received a clear answer to that.”
“He’s 5. He has an imagination. We just want what’s right is right, and what’s right in this instance is for our child to not have a permanent mark on his record because of this,” his father added.
The school doesn't appear to be budging.
The school reportedly said they could not discuss the specific case but they take “student safety and discipline very seriously.”
Thumbnail Credits: Pixabay, Ambermb