In a letter sent on Wednesday to the co-ordinator of student services at the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Mr. Whitehead, a constitutional attorney, calls the young boy’s suspension perhaps “the most shocking example yet of the extent to which school officials are failing in their duties to create healthy and supportive educational environments for their young charges.
“While crying in class may indeed be inconvenient for the teacher, surely there are other, less draconian means of addressing this type of disruption than an out-of-school suspension.”
The zero-tolerance policies adopted by many schools have seen kids “tossed out for the craziest things,” Mr. Whitehead said in a telephone interview.
As for the boy suspended for crying, Mr. Whitehead points out that crying is something six-year-olds just happen to do sometimes. Dealing with the problem like this should start with consulting mom and dad instead of going straight to a suspension.
“The easiest thing to do is consult parents more,” he says.