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School District Rethinks “Cute” Suspension

A lot of feathers were ruffled by the recent story about a nine-year-old elementary-school student who was suspended from school for remarking to another student that one of their teachers was “cute.” People from all over the country were outraged at what many saw as a case political correctness gone wild. Now it appears as though Emanyea Lockett’s school district is equally irritated with the actions of the principal who suspended him.

principal.jpgAccording to Bonnie Reidy, who is the spokesperson for the Gaston County Schools, “We will be sending an official letter of apology to the parents. Also, the suspension will not count against the child and the child will receive additional instructional assistance to make up for the time out of the classroom.”

In addition to the public apology, the district announced that the school’s principal, Jerry Bostic, who was the one who made the decision to suspend the boy for sexual harassment, has resigned. According to Bostic, the resignation wasn’t his idea. In an interview with the Gaston Gazette, the former principal said the district told him he had an hour to resign or face termination. In an interview with a local television station, Bostic complained about his treatment. “One mistake in 44 years, and I’m not given the benefit of the doubt. I really don’t believe I was treated fairly.”

Here is the full text of the apology that was issued by the Gaston County Schools: “After a thorough investigation by school officials involving the suspension of a fourth grade student at one of our elementary schools, it has been determined there was no sexual harassment. We regret this situation happened.” The superintendent has attempted to contact the family to offer an apology to the parents and student. The school system is also sending an official letter of apology to the parents and student.

“The suspension will not count against the student and additional instructional assistance will be provided to the student for the classroom time missed. If a concern is reported by parents to the district office, our procedure is to investigate it and follow up with the parents.”

Mistakes are sometimes made in schools. It is good to see a school district respond so quickly and positively.