Daniel Doherty

Dear gosh. The things kids can get suspended for these days. Bear in mind, too, that the school repeatedly said they knew the child was harmless and non-violent. But did that matter to them? Of course not. Their collective decision was swift and unmerciful: Suspend that boy!

The Blaze has the details:

Drawing a picture of a cartoon-like bomb on a piece of notebook paper and showing it to other kids was reportedly enough to get a special needs student in South Carolina suspended.

Amy Parham said her son Rhett was suspended from Hillcrest Middle School, even though she says administrators conceded the drawing was non-violent in nature and posed no threat to students.

“They actually reiterated to me they knew he was non-violent,” Parham told WHNS-TV. “They knew he was not actually having a bomb, creating or making a bomb.”

“But that they could not go with out making an example of him and take some type of action because they were worried about their perception,” she continued. “Perception is actually the word he used. Perception is reality, and parents might think you have a bomb or [might be] violent.”

According to Parham, Rhett, who is autistic, made the drawing over the weekend because he is a fan of the video game “Bomber Man.” When he took it to school he showed it to some of his peers, he was reported to the school administration and eventually suspended, she said.

Such a hysterical reaction is difficult to imagine, let alone comprehend. Do school administrators really fear the wrath of unhinged parents so much these days that they’re willing to punish students for…drawing cartoons? When I was in middle school (which, admittedly, wasn’t too long ago) one got suspended for fighting or cheating or mouthing off to a teacher. But drawing pictures? C’mon. I mean, couldn’t the boy’s “infraction” have been handled less dramatically -- say, by kindly asking him to keep his drawings to himself or sending him to the principal’s office for a strongly-worded “talk”? Suspension seems rather uncalled for in this situation. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

My sense is that these jittery administrators didn’t punish the child to “teach” him a lesson; they punished him to protect their own behinds. From what, exactly, remains unclear. But I suppose we should all just get used to these kinds of horror stories. After all, they seem to be happening more and more frequently these days.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography