An Ohio court has upheld a school system’s decision to suspend a 12-year-old Black boy for staring at a white classmate.
According to Fox 19 the 12-year-old was suspended from St. Gabriel Consolidated School in 2014 after what he called a “staring contest.”
School officials at the private Catholic school claim the boy “intimidated” his classmate. The girl said she “felt fearful” while the boy was staring at her.
The boy’s parents filed suit in Hamilton County Common Pleas court to try and get the suspension erased, claiming that their son didn’t get due process.
“My son stared at a girl who was engaged in a staring game,” said the boy’s mother, Candice Tolbert. “She giggled the entire time.”
The boy said the girl never indicated that she was afraid.
“I never knew she was scared because she was laughing,” the boy wrote. “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again. I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation.”
Tolbert says the same girl was involved in a similar incident which was much worse but wasn’t punished.
“The same girl that accused my son of this act of perception of intimidation, aggressively poured milk on someone else’s lunch. When she did that there was no penalties for that. She received nothing for that,” she explained.
“The principal is the final recourse in all disciplinary matters and may waive any and all rules at his/her discretion for just cause,” insist school administrators.
The parents say they are considering whether to appeal the judge’s decision.