- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2015

A 9-year-old Texas boy was suspended from school after threatening to use his “Hobbit” ring to make another student disappear, his father says.

Officials at Kermit Elementary School in Winkler County, Texas, said Aiden Steward made a terroristic threat when he told another classmate that he could make him vanish using a ring from the fictional Mount Doom from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, the boy’s father, Jason Steward, told the New York Daily News.

The principal said threats, real or imagined, to another child’s safety would not be tolerated, Mr. Steward said.

“It sounded unbelievable,” Mr. Steward said, insisting his son “didn’t mean anything by it.”

The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” days earlier.

“Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly,” Mr. Steward told the Daily News. “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence.”

Principal Roxanne Greer declined to comment on the 4th grader’s suspension, citing confidentiality policies, according to the Odessa American, which first reported the story.

Mr. Steward said he requested a written explanation from the school as to how his son’s statements constituted a “terroristic threat” and was told the school would put the letter in the mail.

Kermit Superintendent Bill Boyd said in a statement Monday: “We like to emphasize that our teachers and administrators are well-trained and have properly implemented the District’s policy and student code of conduct and certainly do not base disciplinary placement decisions on literary or cinematic references as reported by the Odessa American,” a local NBC affiliate reported.

The school district won’t talk about the suspension, saying, “The discipline of any KISD student is confidential under the Family Educational Rights of Privacy Act.”

“There are many good things going on in Kermit ISD that deserve far more attention than this matter, and for that reason, the district will provide no further comment,” Mr. Boyd said.

The Stewards moved to the Kermit Independent School District only six months ago, and Aiden has already been suspended from school three times.

Two of the disciplinary actions this year were in-school suspensions for referring to a classmate as “black” and for bringing in his favorite children’s book that included a chapter on pregnancy, the Daily News reported.

“He loves that book. They were studying the solar system, and he took it to school. He thought his teacher would be impressed,” Mr. Steward told the paper.


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