An Ohio school is defending the suspension of a 12-year-old Black student who allegedly “intimidated” a White student during a staring contest, Fox 19 reports.
The boy and the unnamed female student engaged in a staring contest in September 2014 at the St. Gabriel Consolidated School in Glendale, the site writes. Candice Tolbert, the boy’s mother, said her son told her he was suspended because the girl “felt fearful” from his stare.
The young student was made to write an apology letter, in which he had to state he will never intimidate another student again, Fox 19 reports.
The girl’s parents were informed about the incident the following day, while Tolbert and her husband were made aware of their son’s actions three days later. The boy’s parents were also unaware of the letter he wrote until they were informed by school officials.
From Fox 19:
In the letter, the 12-year-old wrote, “I never knew she was scared because she was laughing.” It also read, “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again. I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation.”
Though the Tolberts fought to have the suspension removed, they were met with pushback from the school.
The school sited the handbook, which they feel supports their position on the suspension. It reads in part, “The principal is the final recourse in all disciplinary matters and may waive any and all rules at his/her discretion for just cause.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati also released a statement echoing the decision.
“We did ask for an on camera interview from the school about the story. The referred us to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Their statement read, “Judge Patrick Dinkelacker listened to the plaintiff’s arguments yesterday, rejected them, and dismissed the complaint against the school. We aren’t going to comment any further on particular issues concerning our students.”
The Tolberts don’t believe race played a factor, but are questioning why the student was not punished for a previous incident, while their son was suspended for a staring contest.
“The same girl that accused my son of this act of perception of intimidation, aggressively poured milk on someone else’s lunch. When she did that there was no penalties for that. She received nothing for that,” said Candice.
The Tolberts are considering appealing the ruling.
SOURCE: Fox 19 | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
Watch Candice Tolbert, mother of the 12-year-old African American student suspended and Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now discuss #StaringWhileBlack suspension incident in the video clip below.
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