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Goodbye Childhood Imagination: Worst Suspension Ever?


Over the last few years we’ve heard some crazy reasons why students were suspended from classes; t-shirts, pop-tarts bitten into the shape of a gun, teasing characterized as vicious bullying, you name it. One student in Texas was suspended from school for what might be the worst reason yet: he played make believe. The New York Daily News has the story,

Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after he brought his “one ring” to school.

Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, in a playful act of make-believe, told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring forged in fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom.

“It sounded unbelievable,” the boy’s father, Jason Steward, told the Daily News. He insists his son “didn’t mean anything by it.”

The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” days earlier, inspiring Aiden’s imagination and leading him to proclaim that he had in his possession the one ring to rule them all.

“Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly,” Steward said.

This isn’t the first time the kid has been suspended from school, either. This is his third suspension in just six months since starting in the district. The News explains, “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.’ But the teacher learned the popular children’s encyclopedia had a section on pregnancy, depicting a pregnant woman in an illustration, he explained.”

There was once a time, before constantly running television and iPads, where kids were encouraged to use their imaginations, to open their minds to the wonder of the world around them. What this school in Texas has done is strip a kid of not only his imagination, but also his wonder at the world, even as it pertains to the miracle of life. It’s schools like this that have encouraged the school choice and homeschooling movements to flourish. The more schools prioritize testing and discourage free thinking and imagination, the less parents are willing to subject their kids to the public school system.

Comment below! What’s the craziest school suspension story you’ve heard?