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Student Suspended for Call to Mom in Iraq
Newsday ^ | 05/06/05 | AP

Posted on 05/06/2005 10:15:07 AM PDT by Responsibility1st

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- A high school student was suspended for 10 days for refusing to end a mobile phone call with his mother, a soldier serving in Iraq, school officials said. The 10-day suspension was issued because Kevin Francois was "defiant and disorderly" and was imposed in lieu of an arrest, Spencer High School assistant principal Alfred Parham said. The confrontation Wednesday began after the 17-year-old junior got a call at lunchtime from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion. Mobile phones are allowed on campus but may not be used during school hours. When a teacher told him to hang up, he refused. He said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom." Parham said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction to the teacher's request. He said the teen used profanity when taken to the office. "Kevin got defiant and disorderly," Parham said. "When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."

(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anamericansoldier; discipline; education; educationnews; iraq; militaryfamilies; militarymothers; militarywomen; students; terrorwar; waronterror; wtcattacks; zerotolarence
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The headline is wrong. The smart-mouth got suspended for being defiant, disorderly, using profanity, getting out of control, etc.

The kid deserves a suspension. His mom may be in Iraq, I wonder where his dad is.....

1 posted on 05/06/2005 10:15:13 AM PDT by Responsibility1st
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To: Responsibility1st

If you read the article his Dad passed away when he was five. And let me tell you something. He got out of control because the people of authority are stupid and rigid. He was talking to his Mother outside the building on his lunch hour in Iraq. According to the article he told the teacher what was going on and when she caused the call to be disconnected he got frustrated. I DON'T BLAME HIM. Then, when the phone rang again and they wouldn't let him answer, that's when he used profanity. SO WOULD I. It's called common sense, and the education system has NONE OF IT.


2 posted on 05/06/2005 10:19:00 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: Responsibility1st
If I was the teacher or administrator I would have made an exception in this case - tell the kid he can stay on the line but go out in the hall or something.

I get the sense there may be more to this than is in the story.

3 posted on 05/06/2005 10:19:17 AM PDT by Heatseeker (Requiem in Pacem, Ioannes Paulus Magnus)
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To: Responsibility1st

in another thread i found out that his dad dies years ago.

the teacher should have backed off when the kid told her that it was his mom in Iraq. Teach grabbed for the phone instead, which made the kid irate. it would have done far worse to me, and the school shouuld apologise.

that said, for the kid to use this as an excuse to allow his grades to go down is just as dumb.


4 posted on 05/06/2005 10:21:06 AM PDT by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it full of something for you.)
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To: Responsibility1st

He gets a call from his Mom once a month, for Criminy sake.

Go back to DU.




5 posted on 05/06/2005 10:21:46 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: Heatseeker

Oh yeah, there is more to this story.

A student, while not bothering anyone or anything, decided NOT to give in to power-tripping "authority figures" and their senseless dictates.

Good for him.


6 posted on 05/06/2005 10:22:16 AM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: Responsibility1st
....I wonder where his dad is.....

wonder who his dad is.....

7 posted on 05/06/2005 10:22:26 AM PDT by Red Badger (Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make liberal.....................)
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To: Hildy

How do you know that? There's nothing in the article about the teacher being too rigid. The teacher may have asked nicely and several times to end the call....we don't know.


8 posted on 05/06/2005 10:22:39 AM PDT by juggernaut
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To: juggernaut

Please post how to contractprincipal & school. What a jerk teacher! Talk about control and power! Give the kid a break. I need email address for school and Principal.


9 posted on 05/06/2005 10:24:47 AM PDT by LYSandra
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To: LYSandra

Oops! I meant how to "contact" not contract


10 posted on 05/06/2005 10:25:13 AM PDT by LYSandra
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To: Responsibility1st

See the next post - Daddy was killed when he was five - and his mother can only call once a month. I agree, the kid shouldn't have gotten out of line, but the school should be able to make an exception for a once a month call, Perhaps the school should take a chill pill...


11 posted on 05/06/2005 10:27:48 AM PDT by dandelion
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To: LYSandra

Contact at http://www.mcsdga.net/schools/high/spencer.html


12 posted on 05/06/2005 10:29:11 AM PDT by Stirner
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To: clee1
A student, while not bothering anyone or anything, decided NOT to give in to power-tripping "authority figures" and their senseless dictates.

I don't know how you worked things in your family, but my kids were told to be respectful of school authorities no matter how much they (or we) may have disagreed with them. It's part of the disciplinary process that leads to good citizenship and the ability to function successfully in the world. Kids who aren't imbued with the quality of respect generally turn into foul-mouthed, pie-throwing leftists.

13 posted on 05/06/2005 10:29:19 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Responsibility1st

Stupidity like that does not even warrant a response.

The kid was on the phone outside, alone during lunch hour. That was on his own time.

His father was dead, he lives with a guardian. His mom, probably the most stable influence in his life was on a rare phone call from a freaking war zone a half a world away. Some stupid chip on her shoulder, overzealous thug of a teacher with no sense at all comes and rips his phone, his property, from his hand and tries to march him off to see the principal. The stupid principal has him so tied up in knots that he misses her next call too.

OK, I'm done ranting now.


14 posted on 05/06/2005 10:29:44 AM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teach 'em young to be men, and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: juggernaut
There's nothing in the article about the teacher being too rigid

Obviously, you have zero knowledge of what's really going on in the public education system.

15 posted on 05/06/2005 10:30:19 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Harmful Or Fatal If Swallowed)
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To: NormsRevenge
Norm, I cant tell if this person is a troll, but it is for sure they have no heart and cannot a veteran, and I doubt anyone in the family was ever military. Jerky for sure, but not necessarily a troll. Time will tell, though.
16 posted on 05/06/2005 10:30:27 AM PDT by ctlpdad (There can be no triumph without loss, no victory without suffering and no freedom without sacrifice!)
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To: Hildy
....he told the teacher what was going on and when she caused the call to be disconnected...

The teacher caused the call to be disconnected by trying to take the phone away from him. They already knew that his mother is in Iraq, and she only calls once a month. Now that they have a ton of bad publicity they want to make a deal with him.

Public schools are turning into prisons with morons in charge.

17 posted on 05/06/2005 10:30:54 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: Responsibility1st

"The headline is wrong. The smart-mouth got suspended for being defiant, disorderly, using profanity, getting out of control, etc."

If my mom was in Iraq, and a teacher told me to hang up on her, I might be defiant, profane and out of control, too.

Know why?

BECAUSE THERE'S EVERY POSSIBILITY IT MIGHT BE THE LAST TIME I GET TO TALK TO HER! ! !

When our son was in Iraq, we welcomed his calls any time of the day or night or our personal situation, for the same reason.


18 posted on 05/06/2005 10:31:26 AM PDT by righttackle44 (Whenever I get my haircut, I lose my Mexican heritage for three weeks. . . .)
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To: juggernaut

POINT IS - The teacher had no right to stop this phone conversation. This boy is suffering by not being with his mom to further the freedoms this stupid teacher enjoys. I can't believe that anybody would be so hateful to hang up on this guys mom serving in Iraq.

How dare this boy break the rules and use school time for talking to his mom risking her life in Iraq. Wouldn't that time be better used getting a Lewinsky in the back of the classroom while the teacher sleeps or sitting in a classroom learning nothing and being socially promoted. I completely understand the schools position - bunch of morons!


19 posted on 05/06/2005 10:31:39 AM PDT by lnbchip
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To: ctlpdad

Whatever 'it' is, he has zero compassion for the kid or the parent.


20 posted on 05/06/2005 10:31:56 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: Responsibility1st

Somebody get ahold of O-Reilly. School is going to get some heat for this one.


21 posted on 05/06/2005 10:32:08 AM PDT by Sterco
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To: LYSandra
Spencer High School
Spencer High

Learning to Believe, Achieve,
and Succeed

4340 Victory Drive
Columbus, GA 31903
 
Phone: 706-685-7652 
Fax: 706-685-7708 

Enrollment: 1086
Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1 

School Facilities
Number of Classrooms: 60
Number of Computers: 194

School Website

Principal
Olivia  T. Rutledge

Assistant Principals
Alfred Parham
Wendell Turner

Secretary
Lillian Humber


22 posted on 05/06/2005 10:33:45 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: camle
Teach grabbed for the phone instead, which made the kid irate. it would have done far worse to me, and the school shouuld apologise.

"Teach grabbed the phone..." If that is the case, the teacher had to have assaulted the student... there was apparently a struggle for the phone during which the phone was disconnected. If so, the teacher had to have touched the student forcefully... that is assault... and if contact was made, battery.

...for the kid to use this as an excuse to allow his grades to go down is just as dumb.

It may not be "an excuse" it may be a fact. I know of school districts where a 10 day suspension requires a one level grade reduction in all classes he is taking.

23 posted on 05/06/2005 10:33:46 AM PDT by Swordmaker (tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: Responsibility1st

With such jackasses for leadership at that school, who blames the kid for using some bad language.

He is entitled.

His mom in Iraq gives him a call, probably one of the few he is able to receive from her, and they tell him to turn off the phone.

His reaction was a bit over-the-top, but understandable, and I salute him.


24 posted on 05/06/2005 10:34:01 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
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To: Responsibility1st

The kid should drop out and just get his GED or HSED at a junior college or something. Screw the public high school nothing but a bunch of commies anyway.


25 posted on 05/06/2005 10:34:15 AM PDT by No-Compromise Conservative (Liberals don't compromise their beliefs, so why should conservatives?)
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To: All

What I don't see is the young man, as soon as he got the call, asking the teacher if he could be excused...his mom was calling from Iraq and could he take the call. Now, if he had, and the teacher refused and this escalated, then yes...I would say the teacher and administration reacted badly...but this young man is old enough to know he should have asked permission first.


26 posted on 05/06/2005 10:34:56 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: juggernaut

He barely ever gets a call from his mom.

If I was the teacher, I would have made an exception.

The spirit of the rule would have made an exception in this case.


27 posted on 05/06/2005 10:36:43 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
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To: cyclotic

I guess the school rules apply to everyone but this young man.
What stopped the kid from walking straight into the principles office, with the line connected and getting approval from the principle to continue the call.

Obviously his Mom was still on the line when he started his defiance. I sure would have hated to hear my Mom's response had she heard me talking to a teacher with disrespect.

Probably handled bad by both parties.


28 posted on 05/06/2005 10:36:44 AM PDT by juggernaut
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

aI emailed the principal ( a female) and appealed to her as a mom and that the kid should have been given a break. As a mom of a son I know they can get POed at little things at that age let alone a mom in Iraq and no dad. The teacher should have lightened up on him and allowed him his few minutes. The soldiers can only call when they can call so he may not talk to her again for a long while. Given students doing all kinds of things in public schools these days this kid deserved a break which I told the Principal.


29 posted on 05/06/2005 10:36:55 AM PDT by LYSandra
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To: fatnotlazy
What I don't see is the young man, as soon as he got the call, asking the teacher if he could be excused...

Why the hell should the kid ask to be excused from lunch?

30 posted on 05/06/2005 10:37:29 AM PDT by ctlpdad (There can be no triumph without loss, no victory without suffering and no freedom without sacrifice!)
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To: fatnotlazy

Read the story closer please. He went outside after receiving the call during his scheduled lunch break.


31 posted on 05/06/2005 10:38:35 AM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teach 'em young to be men, and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: Responsibility1st
The teacher should have backed off when the boy told her it was his mother in Iraq, and questioned the boy after if he hung up, if she thought he was lying.

The boy shouldn't have used profanity, but I would have been extremely angry and showed it, if a teacher had done the same thing to me. The boy had a right to stand up for himself. And yes, I was taught to be respectful. But I was taught that people in authority can also be wrong.

32 posted on 05/06/2005 10:39:25 AM PDT by TAdams8591 (Terri Schindler was NOT in coma, JUSTICE was.....)
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To: cyclotic

Given the climate in public schools anti Bush anti war etc teacher may have been harder on the kid. She should have told the kid to carry on and thank his mom for her service from the school!


33 posted on 05/06/2005 10:40:00 AM PDT by LYSandra
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To: MeekOneGOP
This one doesn't pass the smell test PING.

(In fact, there's something familiar about it).

34 posted on 05/06/2005 10:40:05 AM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: Red Badger

His father died. But don't let that stop you from trying to assume the worst.


35 posted on 05/06/2005 10:40:38 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (www.JewsforJudaism.org)
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To: Responsibility1st

I sent an email to the princial at the school, protesting the rigid policy and asking for the staff to re-consider the suspension.

This student reacted in a normal way, in my opinion. The teachers are SUPPOSED to be the adults and react accordingly.


36 posted on 05/06/2005 10:40:44 AM PDT by i_dont_chat
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To: fatnotlazy
What I don't see is the young man, as soon as he got the call, asking the teacher if he could be excused...

When was the last time you tried to find a teacher in the school cafeteria during lunch to ask permission to leave the building... while your mom in Iraq is on the phone?

That would be a ridiculous requirement.

37 posted on 05/06/2005 10:41:33 AM PDT by Swordmaker (tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: juggernaut

See 30. What he said.

When a nation is at fullout war, the rules change. See WWII history books.

When your parent is at war, the rules change for those left home.


38 posted on 05/06/2005 10:41:39 AM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teach 'em young to be men, and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: FreedomCalls

Shame, Shame, Shame!

This child is sitting at home every night wondering if his mom is alive or dead. The mother is sitting in Iraq defending your, my, and every American's freedom at the expense of being with her child. They are both suffering for you and your staff. How dare anybody be so hateful as to interfere with their few moments together each month. If this mother were to call this kid in the middle of class, your staff should take every care to make sure that he has a quiet place to talk and give him all the time he needs. But to be so mean as to end the call is beyond my comprehension. Then to punish this kid for his response to your staff's hateful and malicious actions in unforgivable. I don't see how you can live with your conscience.

Sincerely,

Chip Cantrell, CPA




Thanks for the information - I was happy to respond.


39 posted on 05/06/2005 10:41:42 AM PDT by lnbchip
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To: i_dont_chat

Cmon more emails to the school! Get the kid on Hannity or O'Reilly!


40 posted on 05/06/2005 10:41:43 AM PDT by LYSandra
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To: fatnotlazy
but this young man is old enough to know he should have asked permission first.

Authoritarian Government Gods, may I please speak to mother who is in Iraq fighting for your fat, lazy, worthless government employee, tax sucking asses?

41 posted on 05/06/2005 10:42:48 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (www.JewsforJudaism.org)
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To: Hildy

I'm with you!


42 posted on 05/06/2005 10:43:36 AM PDT by Dashing Dasher (When you lose your fear, you become the people you envied.)
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To: Swordmaker

he said that this was making his grades fall. there is another article about this floating around here somewhere...


43 posted on 05/06/2005 10:43:45 AM PDT by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it full of something for you.)
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To: ctlpdad

Lunch time in public school is NOT like it was when I was in school. It is not enjoyable -- nor is it meant to be -- it is a strained, unnatural regiment.

The lunch period is a very RIGID operation. No one is allowed to speak unless it is absolutely necessary. And students MUST raise their hand - to be excused when they are finished.

It is like a prison, I tell you. I am basing this on my experience with an elementary school in Houston.


44 posted on 05/06/2005 10:44:04 AM PDT by i_dont_chat
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To: Responsibility1st
The headline is wrong. The smart-mouth got suspended for being defiant, disorderly, using profanity, getting out of control, etc.

The kid deserves a suspension. His mom may be in Iraq, I wonder where his dad is.....

Out on a limb here with sketchy information.

Looks like the school withheld the info about the teacher putting hands on the student without cause, and the teachers provocative actions.

45 posted on 05/06/2005 10:47:05 AM PDT by Navy Patriot
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To: camle

Mother's call gets son in hot water

BY ANGELIQUE SOENARIE

Kevin Francois gave up his lunch break to talk to his mother, but it ended up costing him the rest of the school year.

Francois, a junior at Spencer High School in Columbus, was suspended for disorderly conduct Wednesday after he was told to give up his cell phone at lunch while talking to his mother who is deployed in Iraq, he said.

His mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, left in January for a one-year tour and serves with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

"This is our first time separated like this," said Francois, 17, on Thursday.

Bates came to Fort Benning with her son from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. She enrolled him at Spencer in August. Since her deployment overseas, Francois, whose father was killed when he was 5 years old, lives with a guardian who has five children in Columbus.

The incident happened when Francois received a call from his mother at 12:30 p.m., which he said was his lunch break. Francois said he went outside the school building to get a better reception when his mother called. A teacher who saw Francois on his phone told him to get off the phone. But he didn't.

According to the Muscogee County School District Board of Education's policy, students are allowed to have cell phones in school, but cannot use them during school hours.

"They are really allowed to have those cell phones so that after band or after chorus or after the debate and practices are over they have to coordinate with the parents," said Alfred Parham, assistant principal at Spencer. "They're not supposed to use them for conversating back and forth during school because if they were allowed to do that, they could be text messaging each other for test questions."

Francois said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

Francois said the teacher tried to take the phone, causing it to hang up.

The student said he then went with the teacher to the school's office where he surrendered his phone. His mother called again at 12:37 p.m. and left a message scolding her son about hanging up and telling him to answer the phone when she calls.

Control issue

Parham said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction when he was asked to give up the cell phone and told about the school's cell phone policy.

"Kevin got defiant and disorderly with Mr. Turner and another assistant principal," Parham said Thursday. "He got defiant with me. He refused to leave Mr. Turner's office. When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."

Wendall Turner is another assistant principal at Spencer.

Parham said the student used profanity when he was taken into the office. He said he tried to work out something with the student. But Francois said he was too frustrated he couldn't answer the phone when his mother called him the second time.

"I even asked Kevin, 'You know we can try to work something out to where if your mother wants to call you she can call you at the school,'" Parham said. "So we've tried to work with Kevin and we're going to continue to try to work with Kevin and his mother and his relatives. In the course of good order and discipline, we have to abide by our policy."

Francois admitted he was partially at fault for his behavior but said he should have been allowed to talk to his mother.

"I was mad at the time, but I feel now maybe I should've went about it differently," he said. "Maybe I should've just waited outside to pick up the phone. But I don't I feel I should've changed any of my actions. I feel I was right by not hanging up the phone."

For Francois, he said he gets to hear from his mother once a month, and phone calls vary depending on when she can use the phone in Iraq. Francois said his mother calls as late as 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and tries to catch him during hours he's awake. He said the phone call Wednesday was the first time she called him while he was at school.

Francois, who said he's been struggling with his grades in school, wants to go back to school and finish the rest of his year. He fears he may have pay for summer school because of his punishment.

"My grades had been low, but I was bringing them up. My grades were coming back up. On one of my report cards I had like a 'F' in one of my classes, but I brought it back up to a low 'C.' This just brought me all the way down."


46 posted on 05/06/2005 10:47:49 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Bella_Bru

Of what?.......


47 posted on 05/06/2005 10:47:56 AM PDT by Red Badger (Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make liberal.....................)
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To: clee1
Yeah, I hadn't seen the other thread on this when I responded. Now that I have read it, it's clear the school overreacted. The people getting suspended should be the school administrators.
48 posted on 05/06/2005 10:48:21 AM PDT by Heatseeker (Requiem in Pacem, Ioannes Paulus Magnus)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
There's respect for authority, and then there's rigid close-mindedness. This zero tolerance crap has got to stop! Teachers and administrators no longer have the wiggle room to "make the call"....they haf ze rulz, and ze rulz vill protect zem!! Exceptions are made all the time, only it's hush-hush...and usually involves a sport.

I hope you also taught your kids to think for themselves (that was not meant to be snarky or a judgment on your parenting style...just to head that little war off before it starts!:)

49 posted on 05/06/2005 10:49:13 AM PDT by blu (The Pope, the Gipper and the Iron Lady...now THAT'S a trifecta!)
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To: Heatseeker

I emailed story to Sean Hannity and O'Reilly.


50 posted on 05/06/2005 10:49:30 AM PDT by LYSandra
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