No, This Didn’t Quite Make My Head Explode, And That’s The Scary Part

Not quite...

Not quite…

In Kermit, Texas, a nine-year-old boy was suspended for telling a classmate that his replica of the “one ring” from “The Hobbit” could make him disappear. This was taken as a “terroristic threat,” it seems.

There was a time, long ago, when this kind of child abuse, cruelly and stupidity on behalf of school administrators would cause my head to do its Mount Vesuvius impression. That was before I was exposed to so many other similar episodes of educator incompetence, from sea to shining sea. It was before I recognized that the educational profession has become infested with frightened, deluded, power-abusing fools who care less about the children in their charge than avoiding lawsuits and converting the next generation into spineless, fearful, unimaginative, submissive puppets.

In a rational, sensible, professional and trustworthy educational system, a story like this would provoke ridicule on every news network. It would be “Believe It or Not” fodder,  a story so weird that every TV comic and radio talk show host would be mocking it. In a rational, sensible, professional and trustworthy educational system, Principal Roxanne Greer, who inflicted the suspension, would already be collecting unemployment. If she was not, then every parent with a child in the Kermit Elementary School would pull their child out of it, because a women who thinks suspending a 4th grader for threatening a student with Middle Earth magic is so unhinged that she is capable of literally anything—demanding that all students walk like ducks, wear weasels on their heads, or practice sword-swallowing. Anything. She can’t be trusted.

But you see, the entire public school system can’t be trusted, and nobody has any idea what to do about it, while those who call themselves educators deny that there is a problem.

That’s why the suspension of a child for a threat that was obviously impossible and well within traditional boundaries of fantasy and play doesn’t make my head explode.

One key point that the accounts I’ve read are ignoring, and shouldn’t: it is possible that such a threat warrants some kind of measured response, if the school contained any professionals capable of one. If the suspended child believes his ring can make someone vanish, the object of his spell might believe it too, and that means that the threat may be genuinely frightening. Fine: explain to the little boy that fantasy is wonderful, but that it’s not nice to frighten your friends. That, however, would require prudence, proportion, empathy and common sense.

Fat chance.


Pointer: Beth

Sources:Reason, OAOA

40 thoughts on “No, This Didn’t Quite Make My Head Explode, And That’s The Scary Part

  1. When I originally read an article about this yesterday, some of the comments thought it had to be from The Onion…too incredible to be true.

    • it did sound too incredible to be true. The principal’s actions were worse than what she claimed the students action where, it was terrorism or child abuse against that student , I wonder why she is still the principal of that school

  2. It’s apparently a religious issue. Seriously. Good Christians of the sort they have in Kermit, Texas take spiritual warfare deadly seriously. A magic ring is regarded as more deadly than a loaded 45, and a Harry Potter book a weapon of mass destruction leading to eternal damnation.

    Two of the disciplinary actions this year were in-school suspensions for referring to a classmate as black and bringing his favorite book to school: “The Big Book of Knowledge.”

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

    But the teacher learned the popular children’s encyclopedia had a section on pregnancy, depicting a pregnant woman in an illustration, he explained.

    They don’t hold with that kind of thing in Kermit, Texas. Big Books of Knowledge, Especially in schools.

    The family only moved there 6 months ago.

  3. Was there an explicitly explicit rule against “telling a classmate that his replica of the “one ring” from “The Hobbit” could make him disappear”?

  4. So, where is the ring?
    Was the principle muttering the word “precious” alot?
    Did she tell the child “you shall not pass”?

    All information that is needed to gauge this administrative malpractice.

  5. Had young Aiden been a wizard from Hogwarts rather than a hobbit from the Shire, he would be in the clear. Since 1875, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery has banned the use of underage magic outside of school. However!, the Improper Use of Magic Office (in the Ministry of Magic) cannot punish Aiden for magic IN school, which is what is involved in THIS incident. Principal Roxanne Greer would be without cause to discipline the young wizard. Yet, she could send a “howler” letter to his parents, which is precisely how this whole thing should have been handled if the other child [seriously] feared disappearance.

    Let me assure Texas school officials that there are no Rings of Power in the real world. Little Aiden’s classmates were in absolutely no danger – except perhaps from the Ringwraiths who work in Public School Administration. Ridiculous zero tolerance policies, like this one, pose a far greater threat to our children’s education, and psyches, than magic rings will ever do.

    None weighing in here will be surprised, I suspect, to learn that principle Roxanne Greer is no longer occupying that particular position. Having shown off her superb child psychology talents she has now moved on to greener pastures. The creative people of Kermit Independent School District have, in all their wisdom, seen fit to appoint her ‘Special Programs Director’: Roxane Greer, Phone: 586-1060, for the entire district. Yes, it seems the Ringwraiths are still in power.

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