MODESTO, Calif. – Apparently children are not allowed to have an imagination anymore. At least his is how 5 year old Jackson Riley’s parents see it.
It was just his third week in kindergarten at Great Valley Academy, when Riley came in and told his teacher that he was not able to take his backpack off because their was a bomb inside it and it would explode if he did. After his teacher asked him if she could look inside and he told her yes, she found absolutely nothing at all.
Instead of chucking this off as an active imagination and thinking that he might be trying to “save the world”, young Riley was instead reported. After receiving a one day suspension and being picked up by his dad, his parents then received a letter stating:
Jackson violated a school code when he “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation.” The letter also managed to contradict itself by following with saying that the rule applies to students “in any of grades 4 to 12.”
The parents stated:
“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 school did agree that the school code did not fit in Jackson’s case, but yet the suspension still remains on his record.
To make matters worse, the school then sent out a second letter saying that the child had made “terroristic threats.”
Of course the school won’t respond for comment.
Jackson’s parents have since taught him not to say the word “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.
“We don’t want terrorist threats to be on his permanent record,” Ian Riley said. “The kid is 5.”
As for now the Riley’s are asking the school to reconsider the suspension.
Do you think the school made too big of an issue out of an active kids imagination? What do you think should be done?
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