The teachers at Kermit Elementary School in West Texas has suspended Aiden Steward, 9, for threatening the safety of a fellow student with magic. That’s right. Aiden told a friend he could turn him invisible like Bilbo Baggins if he put the “one ring” (from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” books) on his head in the Fourth Grade. Before he could carry out his threat, the school suspended him and sent him no doubt to Mordor in the middle earth. There appears a growing consensus: either Aiden is a real wizard or his teachers are real morons.
The little hobbit insisted “Because of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, Bilbo Baggins can make people disappear with his ring. So, I was using my imagination and tried to make the kid disappear. But I never put it around him in any form or any way.” Oh sure, Bilbo, that is what every hobbit says while playing with the powers of Sauron the Dark Lord. However, once you start playing with that magic, you find yourself consumed.
Aiden ignored the promise of Frodo that “We’ll put it away. We’ll keep it hidden, we’ll never speak of it again.” The fact is that Kermit Elementary School Principal Roxanne Greer and Kermit Independent School District Superintendent Bill Boyd had more to worry about than just Aiden. There are “Sauron’s forces massing in the East” and “Orcs with goblin men.” As the Elf Lord Elrond told them “the Ring cannot stay here. This evil belongs to all of Middle-Earth.” It must be thrown into the fires of Mount Doom.
Of course, this is another example of zero tolerance rule. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have led to suspensions and arrests of children (here, here and here and here and here). Here is a prior column on the subject (and here).Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing Legos shaped like guns or even having Danish in the shape of a gun.
In this case, it is the rule of zero tolerance that continues to ravage our schools. To paraphrase the book series, it is “One [Rule] to Rule Them All. One [Rule] to Find Them. One [Rule] to Bring Them All and In The Darkness Bind Them.”
However, not all is lost. I have been working on a defense for Aiden and it will not be easy. It will require a different motif all together. If he were a wizard from Hogwarts rather than a hobbit from the Shire, you 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 involved in this incident. Principal Roxanne Greer (who appears to have been trained at the same teacher’s college as Dolores Umbrage) would be without cause to discipline the young wizard. Yet, she could send a “howler” letter to her parents, which is precisely how this whole thing should have been handled if the other child seriously feared disappearance.
For their part, the parents of Aiden sent a letter to the school assuring Greer that “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence. If he did, I’m sure he’d bring him right back.”
That should do it. After all, it is not like he was trying to teach evolution in the schools.
54 thoughts on “Bad Wizard: Nine-Year-Old Boy Suspended For “Making Terroristic Threat” . . . With Magic”
Imagination, thinking, playing, joking, and conversing with fellow students, is now taboo. We need school vouchers now!!
Four of the five reviews on the Great Schools Website:
I deeply regret sending my son to this school. It is one of the biggest mistakes of my entire life.
This school is still located deep in the Dark Ages. I regret having my child at this school and especially regret having Roxanne Greer in charge. I am sickened by the recent news regarding the numerous suspensions of a boy based on statement of fact (saying that a boy was black [an objective fact]), science (bringing a science book that happened to have a section on pregnancy), and imagination (pretending to have “the one ring” from the Hobbit). If you are interested in facts, science, or imagination; find another school.
they are unprofessional, don’t push kids to rise to their full potential, favoritism is rampant there’s a new scandal every year almost the whole 5th grade had to go to summer school last year soooo we are moving and going to christian private school as soon as we can make arrangements
This school has not met State academic standards for more than 3 years. Under the current female principal, there is no discipline. Without strong discipline at the top, teachers may as well be talking to the walls. It shows.
Clearly, they’re all Muggles in public school.
The Principal clearly wanted the Precious for his very own.
Do we need to have a sit down with superstitious teachers and the principal and patiently explain that there is no such thing as a ring that can make someone disappear? And if it DID make him disappear, it would only be until the ring fell off his head.
You see, if this happens at a charter or public school, the parents would be angered and choose another school. But there is no accountability in the union-controlled public school system.
I was just talking with another mother yesterday. She pulled her kids out of public school because a teacher was being unkind to one of her boys. She complained, and the teacher told her she could do anything she wanted and there was nothing she could do about it. That’s the definition of tenure.
Amazing. I fear for all students under the direction of this moronic teacher, principal, and superintendent.
Really? the threat of a disappearing ring is enough to get you suspended? Here is proof positive there are people alive that do not have a brain that can think.
Paul – I would have told the kid that I would appreciate if he would not ‘disappear’ his fellow student until after school because he needed to stay on the roll until dismissal. Also that he needed to keep the Ring hidden because other students would be jealous of his power.
“What does a zero tolerance policy do to the way children think about such things as mercy, kindness, and understanding?”
It can do two things–it can emphasize their importance to the child, or, it can make them treat others with a zero tolerance perspective. The distinction probably rests upon the child’s upbringing.
Overall, I fear it sets the stage for a dictatorial mindset amongst people, and later, their (our) government. I don’t want to be so cynical, but that concern is present.
Those who can: do.
Those who cant: teach.
Those who cant teach: teach teachers.
If I had a kid here I would take him to France.
If I were in charge … both the teacher and the superintendent of schools would be fired on the spot. They’re both too stupid to be in their positions.
Ooops that should have been Shadows comment in quotes.
Bailers, – “But my question is more general. What does a zero tolerance policy do to the way children think about such things as mercy, kindness, and understanding? And how does this affect their outlook as adults?”
I think we know how this turns out. It sets the foundation for later things like govt. conformity when it comes to issues like gay “rights” or global warming. Both have zero tolerance towards anyone who disagrees with the lemmings.
And this is why our school systems for the most part are a joke! If only the ring did have those powers we could eliminate so many issues/people! Whoever was involved with this suspension should lose their jobs and be immediately checked into an insane asylum.
I really wish this wasn’t a true story!
Ohhhhhhh my preciousssssss, if only he had the power to put donkey ears on the teachers to show the class how human asses look.
You all realize “zero tolerance” comes from the toxic mix of our education and litigation industries, don’t you?
Personally, I don’t know how anyone here gets from “zero tolerance” to suspending a child for something involving the One Ring. That’s not “zero tolerance;” that’s either gross stupidity or a targeted attack against this particular family.
I lean towards the latter since the school had previous persecuted the child for referencing another kid’s skin color and bringing a book to school that included a picture of a pregnant woman. He was obviously raised wrong by the school’s ideological standards an a problem child for them.
Funny write-up of a stupid event. It seems to me that the school has something against this boy – as I recall, this is his first year there. I don’t know his parents’ circumstances, but homeschooling would have to be better than that travesty of a school.
Just to clarify–he said he would make him invisible, not kill him. My understanding it that the cloak of invisibility might have been used to allow the one child to steal erasers from the blackboard on behalf of the wizard child. Indeed that is a criminal mastermind at work!
And I thought all you had to do to steal money was run a TBTF bank!
This is just another example of our dysfunctional education industry, which we pay top dollar for w/ our taxes. From the schools of education, to administrators and bureaucrats, to the teachers. The industry need to be dismantled and built properly.
I do commend the citizens of West Texas, however, in finding gainful employment for the intellectually and developmentally disabled.
What I am concerned about is, if this kid has the one Ring, can we trust him. He is a little young. I think it need to come to my house, my Pretty, for protection.
The system we have is the system “we the people” want. Ask yourself this, if you were in charge of the school, would you want to stick your neck out only to have it chopped off by the first idiot parent who wouldn’t support your decision?
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