Saturday, May 07, 2005

Georgia School Reduces Student's Suspension

Kevin Francois is returning to school. The Columbus, Georgia student was suspended for 10 days after becoming belligerent when a teacher forced him to hang up on a call from his mother, a soldier serving in Iraq.

Francois will be returning to school Monday, his suspension reduced to 3 days after the school was flooded with calls and e-mails from across the nation. But the details of the incident are still in dispute. School officials say Francois became very unruly, using vulgarity and threatening language. Francois said he never swore at the teacher or administrators.

Muscogee County School District Superintendent John Phillips Jr. says the suspension was for the behavior, not for the phone call. But, as reported by CNN, Phillips did say the student should have been aware of the phone rules. Said Phillips: "We try to protect instructional time. We try to make sure the environment in the school is appropriate. The young man knows what the rules and regulations are."

Clearly, when faced by the public’s justified outrage, the school district realized they overreacted. But shortening the student’s suspension is not enough. The teacher involved and the school itself should issue a public apology to Francois. The student was at lunch. There’s no way his call was interrupting “instructional time.” And even if his reaction did use harsh language, he’s 17 and, under the circumstances, can be forgiven.

The school, however, shouldn’t be let off the hook so easily.


At 9:32 PM, Anonymous wayne in florida said...

I absolutely agree with this writer. Now that the goof has been exposed, the school officials are back stroking. It would surprise me if they do the right thing and apologize......... watch for ice storms in hell !

At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just do not believe that the school officials involved understand what a mother or father means to a person! In my opinion I think they should all resign!! no apology will be enough for their actions. In my opinion I think they are very unamerican!!


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