A special needs child in Greenville, South Carolina was allegedly suspended “indefinitely” for drawing this picture of a cartoon bomb:
The boy, Rhett Parham, drew the picture over the weekend while at home and then took it to Hillcrest Middle School. He got indefinitely suspended after some older children saw the picture and told teachers.
His mother, Amy Parham, said the boy’s favorite video game called Bomber Man may have inspired the drawing.
Amy is disturbed by the school’s harsh punishment. She claims that they know Rhett is special needs and would never hurt anyone.
She said, “They actually reiterated to me they knew he was non-violent. They knew he was not actually having a bomb, creating or making a bomb. But that they could not go without making an example of him and take some type of action because they were worried about their perception. Perception is actually the word he used. Perception is reality, and parents might think you have a bomb or [might be] violent.”
The South Carolina Department of Education released a statement on the incident, in which they said the local school district has the right to punish each student as they see fit.
The statement read, “We have not heard directly from this parent and she has not made a written complaint with the agency. At this time, since the matter relates to student discipline, it is left up to the local school district to investigate the issue through a manifestation hearing and determine if the student’s behavior is due to his disability.”
A spokesman from the middle school said they are currently working to determine if the drawing, which violates school policy, was a result of Rhett’s disability. In the meantime, the boy is not allowed to go to school.
Thankfully, a bomb disposal robot was sent before any injuries occurred…