More school follies:
Kevin Francois gave up his lunch break to talk to his mother, but it ended up costing him the rest of the school year.
Francois, a junior at Spencer High School in Columbus, [Ga.], was suspended for disorderly conduct Wednesday after he was told to give up his cell phone at lunch while talking to his mother who is deployed in Iraq, he said.
His mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, left in January for a one-year tour and serves with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. “This is our first time separated like this,” said Francois, 17, on Thursday.
When a teacher tried to grab the boy’s phone, the call was disconnected. School staff wouldn’t let the student answer the phone when the mom tried to call back. He cursed and was disciplined for his disorderly behavior. The boy acknowledges his reaction was wrong.
The administration’s response:
“They are really allowed to have those cell phones so that after band or after chorus or after the debate and practices are over they have to coordinate with the parents,” said Alfred Parham, assistant principal at Spencer. “They’re not supposed to use them for conversating back and forth during school because if they were allowed to do that, they could be text messaging each other for test questions.”
Francois said he told the teacher, “This is my mom in Iraq. I’m not about to hang up on my mom.”
Smoother “conversating” between the student and administration might have led to a better resolution.
Contact info for Spencer High School is here.
Update II: Thanks to all of you who are forwarding the letters you’ve sent to the school. My friend William Perry Pendley forwarded me his excellent e-mail to the principal, which was bounced back…
My son is in Iraq. I missed his first call home because I did not recognize the number and did not pick up because I was in a meeting. Never again! When my phone rings, if there is the slightest possibility that it is my son, I answer it no matter what meeting I am in. And you suspend a young boy separated from his mother, days before Mothers Day, because he wanted to speak to his mother when she called from Iraq during his lunch hour. Instead of suspending him, you should suspend the teacher who lost her cool. The decision you made in this case is why people loathe bureaucrats like you and those people who work for you. You should be ashamed of yourself. If I lived in Columbus, GA, I would do everything in my power to get you and everyone responsible for this outrage fired. You might want to write up a new resume after this. You must be very proud of yourself. In the same month that we honor Mothers and those who gave their lives in service to their country, you do this. Shame on you.
Update III: CNN reporting that Kevin’s penalty has been reduced; he’ll be back in school on Monday.
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