Sunday, September 24, 2017

5-Year-Old Boy Suspended For Telling Teacher He Had A Bomb In His Backpack

A 5-year-old boy’s parents in California are speaking out after they say their son was suspended from school for telling a teacher that he had a bomb in his backpack.

During just his third week of school, kindergartner Jackson Riley told his teacher at Great Valley Academy that he couldn't take off his backpack because there was a bomb inside and it would explode if he took the bag off.

The teacher then asked the boy if she could look inside his backpack. After Jackson said yes, the teacher opened the bag and found nothing inside.

Jackson then received a one-day suspension and had to be picked up by his dad.

The administration sent a letter home, saying Jackson violated a school code when he “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation.” The letter also said the rule applies to students “in any of grades 4 to 12.”

“We said, 'This doesn’t fit, and furthermore we don’t really feel like our son was threatening you,'” Jackson’s father Ian Riley said. “'He’s got an imagination. In his mind, he’s being this hero that’s preventing you from being exploded from an imaginary bomb in his backpack.'"

The administration agreed the school code didn’t fit, but the suspension remained on Jackson's school record.

School officials then sent home a second letter and said Jackson had made “terroristic threats.”

The school did not respond to the news’s request for comment about the incident.

Jackson's parents said before the incident, Great Valley Academy has been good for their family. Since then, they’ve taught Jackson to follow his teacher’s requests and to not say "bomb" at school.

However, they’re worried the suspension will have a lingering impact.

“It becomes easy to label the kid, ‘Yeah, he already made a terrorist threat. It wouldn’t shock me if he meant this in malice too,’” Jackson’s mother Michelle Riley said.

The Riley’s are asking the school to reconsider the suspension.

“We don’t want terrorist threats to be on his permanent record,” Ian Riley said. “The kid is 5.”

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