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Student suspended for talking to his mom in Iraq


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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Kevin Francois gave up his lunch break to talk to his mother, but it ended up costing him the rest of the school year.

 

Francois, 17, a junior at Spencer High School in Columbus, was suspended for disorderly conduct Wednesday after he was told to give up his cellphone while talking to his mother, who is deployed in Iraq, he said.

 

His mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, left in January for a one-year tour.

 

"This is our first time separated like this," Francois said Thursday.

 

Bates enrolled her son at Spencer in August. Since her deployment overseas, Francois, whose father was killed when he was 5, lives with a guardian in Columbus.

 

The incident happened when Francois received a call from his mother at 12:30 p.m., his lunch break. Francois said he went outside the school building to get a better reception. A teacher who saw Francois on his phone told him to get off the phone. He refused.

 

The Muscogee County Board of Education's policy allows students to have cellphones in school but not to use them during school hours.

 

"They are really allowed to have those cellphones so that after band or after chorus or after the debate and practices are over they have to coordinate with the parents," said Alfred Parham, assistant principal at Spencer. "They're not supposed to use them for conversating back and forth during school because if they were allowed to do that, they could be text-messaging each other for test questions."

 

Francois said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

 

Francois said the teacher tried to take the phone, causing it to hang up. The student said he then went with the teacher to the office where he surrendered his phone.

 

Parham said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction when he was asked to give up the cellphone and told about the school's policy.

 

"Kevin got defiant and disorderly with Mr. Turner and another assistant principal," Parham said Thursday. "He got defiant with me. He refused to leave Mr. Turner's office."

 

Wendall Turner is another assistant principal at Spencer.

 

Parham said the student used profanity when he was taken into the office. He said he tried to work out something with the student. But Francois said he was too frustrated.

 

Francois admitted he was partly at fault for his behavior but said he should have been allowed to talk to his mother.

 

"I was mad at the time, but I feel now maybe I should've went about it differently," he said. "But I don't I feel I should've changed any of my actions. I feel I was right by not hanging up the phone."

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/050...spension07.html

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I'm sorry, but the school went WAY overboard on this one.

 

When I was in high school after 9/11, the school actually relaxed limitations on cell phone usage, because they wanted the kids to be able to communicate with their parents during potential problems.

 

After this school found out that the kid was talking to his mother in the Army, they should have left it alone. Case closed.

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He was in trouble for the way he acted when they asked him to stop.

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Here...

 

Francois said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

 

After he said that, like FutureGM said, they should have left it alone. He was polite and very clear about it when the teacher first approached him, but the teacher had a power trip and didn't care that he was talking to his mother 4,000 miles away in the middle of Iraq. I don't blame the kid for getting pissed off and acting the way he did, infact the teacher and assistant principal should be reprimanded.

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School Reduces Suspension Over Iraq Call

Suspension Reduced for High School Student Who Took Call From Mom in Iraq During Lunch Break

 

COLUMBUS, Ga. May 7, 2005 ? Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army base city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn't give up his cell phone while talking to his mom a sergeant on duty in Iraq.

 

The angry calls about the boy's suspension got so bad at one point that secretaries had to take their phones off the hook, assistant principal Alfred Parham said.

 

Kevin Francois, a 17-year-old junior at Spencer High School, was suspended for 10 days for disorderly conduct Wednesday after a teacher told him to give up his cell phone outside the school during his lunch break and he refused, the teen said.

 

The boy said he had not expected the call from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour.

 

The teacher says the confrontation happened in a hallway, not outside, and that Francois never said the call was with his mother.

 

The Muscogee County School District Board of Education allows students to have cell phones in school but not to use them during school hours.

 

The punishment for violating that policy is that the phone is confiscated until the end of the day. But Francois was suspended for cursing and being defiant, said Parham. That was extended to 10 because "he did not want to accept the three-day suspension and to agree that he would not use the cell phone openly or curse."

 

"We are empathetic to all students whose parents serve in the armed forces ? (but) we do have behavior standards which we uphold," said Superintendent John A. Phillips Jr.

 

On Friday, the school district reduced the suspension to three days, which will allow Francois to return to school Monday, after officials met with him, the guardian who cares for him while his mother is out of the country, and a representative of her unit.

 

"People are fussing at us, calling us names," said assistant principal Wendell Turner.

 

"We are the school that serves Fort Benning," Turner said. "We're well aware of students with parents overseas."

 

Parham said, however, that Francois' behavior at school has been "a chronic problem."

 

And Francois added: "I'm not a golden child and I've been wrong, but I was right this time."

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=737591

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The teacher says the confrontation happened in a hallway, not outside, and that Francois never said the call was with his mother.

 

 

That was my first thought.

 

How different the stories become when you're trying to justify your side of the arguement.

 

If the kid knew his mom would be calling, the thing to do would have been to go to an authority figure and explain that they would be talking at that certain time and to ask permission if it would be ok.

 

That would have been the responsible thing to do.

 

It doesn't surprise me that the kid has been 'a chronic problem'.

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The teacher says the confrontation happened in a hallway, not outside, and that Francois never said the call was with his mother.

 

 

That was my first thought.

 

How different the stories become when you're trying to justify your side of the arguement.

 

If the kid knew his mom would be calling, the thing to do would have been to go to an authority figure and explain that they would be talking at that certain time and to ask permission if it would be ok.

 

That would have been the responsible thing to do.

 

It doesn't surprise me that the kid has been 'a chronic problem'.

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The boy said he had not expected the call from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour.

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School over-reacted. I'm really disgusted with the power trips schools seem to be on as of late.

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I heard on Countdown with Keith Olbermann a few weeks back about a school shutting down after someone thought they saw a student enter the school with a weapon of some kind. Later, it turned out they had seen a kid walking with his lunch, a burrito. :blink:

 

Think schools are paranoid enough yet?

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