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May 08, 2005

Mothers, be warned. Calling your child can get them suspended.

Sad that news like this was reported so close to Mother's Day. A high school junior in Columbus received a call from his mother. This was far from the normal phone call though. His mother is stationed in Iraq, and is only able to call him once a month. She was fortunate enough to be able to call him during the day this time, but she caught him on his cell phone while he was at school. A teacher asked him to hang up. Unfortunately, the student handled the situation poorly. While this may have deserved a punishment, what he got was far too much; suspension through the end of the school year and a later call from his mother (left as a message a few minutes later), scolding him for hanging up on her (presumably, she didn't know the situation at the time).

I understand fully the need to maintain discipline and show consistency, but this is a situation that deserves an exception. One's family always should be allowed to trump the rules set up by the school. This is not to say that parents should be calling their kids on their cell phones during school hours. Responsible parents know that they should not disturb their children during school. But some circumstances limit how a parent contacts their child. In situations such as these, the school system should be more accomodataing, and work through them on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, this situation could also put this student into summer school; he's struggled with grades all year, and while he has been improving as the year has gone on, this suspension could cost him all of his recent hard work. It is irresponsible for the school to apply this punishment at this point in the year, and should suspend the punishment until the beginning of next year.

I'd prefer not to go into this on Mother's Day, but this was, in part, good news. To many people, their mothers are still very important. Happy Mother's Day to all.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.