Via AL Com:
The father of an eighth-grade Childersburg boy said his son was paddled at school for writing “Trump” on the blackboard, and he’s livid.
“I don’t think you ought to be punished for writing the president’s name,” Troy Stephenson told Al.com. “Yeah, I’m pretty mad.”
The incident happened Thursday at Childersburg Middle School. This is what was written on the Talladega County Schools Discipline Referral Form sent home with the student: “Students were told on yesterday because of the sensitivity of the matter, not to discuss the election unless it was in history class. They were told any discussion would result in an office referral. (The student) decided to write “Trump” on my board this morning, disregarding others that were in the classroom. This resulted in some upset students. I informed the student that the name (it could have been the other candidate) wasn’t the issue. But it was the nature of everything behind it.”
The disciplinary form reflected the following actions: conference with pupil, phone call to parents, and corporal punishment. Efforts to reach Childersburg Middle School officials for comment Friday and Monday were unsuccessful.
Griff Hill, the coordinator for secondary programs for Talladega County Schools, said he couldn’t comment specifically on disciplinary action against any student, but said, “I can say with 100 percent accuracy, no student would ever be disciplined based on their political beliefs. There would never be a situation in our school system where the students would be disciplined because of their support of a political candidate.”
Last week, Tuscaloosa City Schools received a number of complaints after a high school math teacher projected an image of Donald Trump firing President Barack Obama in his classroom on Wednesday.
In Childersburg, Stephenson said the school called him and told him what happened. They then asked him if he’d rather his 14-year-old get paddled, or spend the day in in-school suspension. “I said I didn’t think they should be punished at all,” Stephenson said. “They said it caused a disruption.”
He told the school his wife was on her way, but if they couldn’t wait for her to arrive, they should let his son make the decision. “I told them ‘I don’t want you to do anything,” he said.
By the time his wife arrived, the young teen had already been paddled by Assistant Principal Chad Bynum, Stephenson said. Alabama is one of just 15 states with a state law that explicitly allows for corporal punishment. Another 29 states specifically ban the practice.
For two weeks leading up to the Nov. 8 election, Stephenson said, the students had been given homework assignments to watch election coverage and study the process. It’s only natural, he said, that the students would continue those discussions after the election results came in. “You piqued their interest, and then when the candidate you wanted to win didn’t win, you want it hush-hush,” he said. “That’s what it looks like to me.”
Stephenson said he spoke with a school official Monday morning who told him his son was paddled not because he wrote “Trump” on the board, but because he wrote anything on the board at all.