Student suspended over call from mom in Iraq

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by sharon25, May 6, 2005.

  1. sharon25

    sharon25 New Member

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    COLUMBUS, Georgia (AP) -- A high school student was suspended for 10 days for refusing to end a cell phone call with his mother, a soldier serving in Iraq, school officials said.

    The 10-day suspension was issued because Kevin Francois was "defiant and disorderly" and was imposed in lieu of an arrest, Spencer High School assistant principal Alfred Parham said.

    The confrontation Wednesday began after the 17-year-old junior got a call at lunchtime from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion.

    Cell phones are allowed on campus but may not be used during school hours. When a teacher told him to hang up, he refused. He said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

    Parham said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction to the teacher's request. He said the teen used profanity when taken to the office.

    "Kevin got defiant and disorderly," Parham said. "When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/05/06/call.suspension.ap/index.html
     
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  3. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Wow. I don't even know what to say. I wish the young man had handled it better, but come on ... his mom's stationed overseas.
     
  4. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    Why would arrest even have to be an option here.
    Just for the record, I would have let this one go with a warning.
    I'm sure if that teacher received a call from one her family members, she wouldn't have hung up and rushed back to class either. The teacher showed no heart.
     
  5. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Maybe the teacher doesn't agree with the war. I wouldn't be surprised if maybe some "hidden" feelings came out in the way this was handled.
     
  6. Timex

    Timex Retired WS Staff

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    swearing at a teacher is an "arrest-able" offense here also. Most things that happen at school can result in an arrest, since the zero tolerance rules went into effect.
     
  7. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    Zero tolerance is a joke. My school has zero tolerance for alot of things. It only seems to apply when someone is grumpy or doesn't like a particular kid or his parents.
     
  8. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    You don't have to agree with the war to show compassion to a child who misses his mother.
     
  9. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Yes, thank you - I get that. I'm just trying to figure out why a teacher wouldn't give the kid a break. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  10. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    Maybe she's just MEAN.
     
  11. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    As a teacher and the daughter of a veteran, I would have allowed the young man to go to the hall to talk with his mother after confirming that it was his mother. However, I would have been in trouble with the school administration. Frankly, it would be worth it! The funny thing is that I am considered (along with my two best friends) to be one of the most strict teachers in the school! Of course the two of them (my friends) would have confirmed that it was the mother and allowed him to take the call in the hall as well--they, too, are the adult children of veterans.
    In this case, I think the student should be required to write a paper about discipline and appropriate behavior to someone in authority OR alternative ways he could have managed the situation. Suspension is ridiculous!
     
  12. Timex

    Timex Retired WS Staff

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    What a great attitude! There are usually alternatives that can be effectively utilized in a situation such as this, especially when the student involved isnt a "trouble maker".
     
  13. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    What a great thinking-outside-the-box solution!
     
  14. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet New Member

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    Kids are generally not allowed to use a cell phone at school, and that is quite understandable. What really angers me is when I witness first-hand teachers making and receiving personal phone calls during in-classroom teaching time. Repeatedly, I have seen teachers chatting away to friends while supposedly conducting reading groups. I have seen them chatting with another teacher who has called in sick that day... "I'll need to know what to tell the others at break. How ya doing???" The administration has no control over when the teachers use their phones, as they cannot be monitored like the phones on the wall connected to each classroom via the office. The abuse of cell phone use by teachers is rampant ! Another sore point... teachers on yard duty, on their cell for the entire recess period. Great supewrvision! Then to read about a teacer trying to terminate a students call from Mom in Iraq. That is just plain callous.
     
  15. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Our last school installed some sort of signal blocker / catcher. They were very serious about no cells. Our new school has a very lax policy and if a cell goes off during class usually the teacher just admonishes the student. Rarely does it become a big deal. My daughter has a number of times called me from class if she needs something and I run over.
     
  16. sharon25

    sharon25 New Member

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    Agreed.
     
  17. sharon25

    sharon25 New Member

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    I hope with this publicity, the teacher feels like a jerk, and maybe will try and think about how he/she would've felt if it had been a call from a loved one over seas.
     
  18. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    Boy, I'd have a big problem with a school that had a signal blocker. I'm one of those nutty parents that MAKE my high school aged child bring a cell phone to school. It is on, it is on silent, and he is to use it for only two purposes during school hours. He can dial 911 if there is a Columbine type thing. And he can call me if he needs to.

    I got the phone for him when I was informed of our school's emergency plan. They basically wanted to ring the alarm and have all the kids march out to the football field.....when I told them that if I were planning some trouble and knew that plan, I'd be up on top of the bleachers and I could pick 'em off as they entered the field, they came up with a new and better plan.

    Part of the plan involves shutting down the streets surrounding the school and I live right by here....it would drive me crazy to know my child was in a dangerous position and not be able to speak with him, so I got him the phone.
     
  19. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Isn't it funny how admin deals with situations from one school district to the next?

    By making letting the kids use cell phones our new district made the whole deal a non-issue. But, our last school you could bring a camera to school and take pictures to your heart's content. The new school allows no cameras and if you're caught with a camera phone ... ouch! :behindbar
     
  20. fran

    fran Former Member

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    OK, I admit, this situation makes me very angry. IMO, this got way out of hand. I realize the student was wrong for being on the phone, but.....this should be an exception. I also realize that the student is being suspended for his attitude, etc., when he was marched down to the office. But,.......there wouldn't have been a need to 'march him down to the office,' had this person on lunch duty had some compassion for what this family, and especially this student are going through with his mom being in a war zone.


    I could say alot more and I know all won't agree, but that's the way I feel. Oh, and I let the principal of that school know how I feel also. IMO, they should reconsider their actions, reconsider the 10 day suspension, perhaps a couple of after school or a Saturday detention for his 'bad words.'

    How would the school feel IF this were the last time this student was able to talk to his mom? What if she comes home in a body bag?

    JMHO
    fran
     
  21. luthersmama

    luthersmama Active Member

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    Maybe this kid has done a bunch of other stuff that we don't know about and this pushed her over the edge?
     

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