By: Giovanni Zaburoni
A 12-year-old boy has been suspended from Invest Collegiate Charter School in Charlotte North Carolina for defending himself while being attacked by a school bully and his mother is speaking out about the zero tolerance policy that she believes is being used unfairly against her son. In an exclusive interview with FOX46, Kandis Malone told a reporter zero tolerance policies “sounds real good on paper, but I think it should be per child, per situation, per basis.” According to her son Jaden, the school bully pushed his friend to the ground. When he tried to help his friend, the bully repeatedly punched him in the head. That’s when Jaden pushed his attacker away. That push led to him being suspended from school for three days.
According to FOX46, Jaden is now recovering from a concussion he sustained from being hit on the head. Jaden said he tried to tell a teacher what was happening but he kept getting hit. His mother says, “He couldn’t walk away, he couldn’t get out of it because the boy had hit him so many times.” According to FOX46, the director of the school told them, “School policies are school policies, North Carolina policies are zero tolerance. I hate it for the child but it is what it is.” In an interview with the NY Daily News, Dr. Thomas Miller, the executive director of the public charter school said, “No one has the right to interrupt the educational environment and impact the learning of others. We have strict policies regarding aggressive behavior, and we followed those policies. Each child was treated for any wounds they incurred.”
While the school is adhering to what they call a “zero tolerance” policy, Dr. Miller told the NY Daily News that the words “zero tolerance” are not in the school’s disciplinary guidelines. The head of the school decides whether a student will be suspended. According to FOX46, school administrators are allowed to give children involved in fights in-school suspensions but that didn’t happen in this case.
According to Atlanta Black Star, Jaden’s attacker was given a five day suspension. Malone says her son will not being going back to Invest Collegiate Charter School. In relation to this case, Dr. Deanna Townsend-Smith, the lead consultant for the office of charter schools told the NY Daily News, “It’s not being reviewed. They haven’t done anything illegal. The mother may not be satisfied with the decision by the administration. The school does have a grievance policy in place.”