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Special needs student suspended for bomb drawing

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A South Carolina mother is outraged after she said her special needs son was suspended for drawing a cartoon of a bomb, even though the school admitted the boy was not a threat to himself or others.

Amy Parham said her son, Rhett, is a fan of the video game "Bomber Man," and he and brought a drawing he made himself of a cartoon-like bomb to his class at Hillcrest Middle School, a local Fox affiliate reported.

That's when some older students reported Rhett to school administration and he was suspended indefinitely, Fox Carolina reported.

"They actually reiterated to me they knew he was non-violent," Ms. Parham said in the report. "They knew he was not actually having a bomb, creating or making a bomb. But that they could not go with out making an example of him and take some type of action because they were worried about their perception. Perception is actually the word he used. Perception is reality, and parents might think you have a bomb or [might be] violent."

Greenville County Schools spokesman Oby Lyles said the school system could not comment about an individual student, but that, "in global terms, a special education student is suspended pending a manifestation hearing which determines if the behavior is due to the student's disability."

The South Carolina Department of Education said, "since the matter relates to student discipline, it is left up to the local school district to investigate the issue through a manifestation hearing and determine if the student's behavior is due to his disability," Fox Carolina reported.

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