<National Report>A ten-year old school student in Rutland, Vermont was suspended from his public school, and later expelled, after submitting an essay that criticized the presidency of Barack Obama, setting off a legal dispute that is expected to last well into next year.
The fifth-grade student at Ben Franklin Intermediate, who has not been identified due to his age, wrote a hyper-critical essay of President Obama on April 21st, in response to an assignment where students were supposed to research a US president and list their accomplishments. Faculty claim the youth’s essay was “racially insensitive,” and accused the student of not writing the paper himself, and having been “coached by an adult and writing what he was told to write.”
One faculty member, who asked that they remain anonymous for fear of losing their job, shared an excerpt from the paper with National Report, saying the student’s original paper was photocopied as a part of the school’s investigation. “He’s a Kenyan socialist and he hates America,” the student claims. “His biggest accomplishment was being born black because that’s why other blacks elected him. He blames everything on Bush and steals credit from other people. But we shouldn’t be surprised that he steals I don’t think.”
The paper goes on to list other supposed failures of the Obama presidency, with the student accusing Obama of raising taxes, selling the United States to China, putting the US on a path to war with Russia, lying to the public about Benghazi, spying on American “dissenters,” and using Obamacare to, quote, “spread Sharia Law [sic] and make us slaves to big government.”
The student’s teacher decided to send the boy to the principal’s office, and the principal decided to call the boy’s father and have him taken home. The father was reportedly “intensely angry” about his son’s having been sent home, threatening the principal and “saying he had a gun at home and didn’t live too far away,” according to the faculty member we spoke with. Police were called, but the boy and his father had left before they arrived.
After reviewing the case, faculty at Rutland Intermediate called the student’s parents, who are legally separated, to inform them that the boy was “suspended from school, pending an investigation.” On Friday, May 2nd, the parents were notified that the student was to be expelled from the school completely, and that the parents were not allowed on school property.
The faculty member we spoke with says the suspension and expulsion were both justified. “This student wrote an incendiary essay, obviously with the `help’ of an adult. He offended both his fellow students and the faculty. Most of the things his essay mentions about President Barack Obama aren’t even true. And his father threatened our principal with a gun. So I think it’s safe to say the suspension, and his being expelled, were both good calls.”
The student’s parents see the situation differently. The father said on his Facebook wall that he’s spoken with his attorney, and that the family is suing the school for quote “violating the first amendment” and “telling [his] son how to think about NObama.” The school has also reportedly spoken with attorneys and is, according to the faculty member, “hunkering down for a drawn-out legal fight.”
When asked by a Facebook friend if he contributed to his son’s paper, the father was aggressive. “No, fuck you for saying that man. My kid is smart as hell. He knows Obama is a traitor and a communist. I don’t say no nice things about Obama, but that don’t mean my kid can’t figure this shit out for himself.”
The school would not issue a formal statement involving the story, claiming that “it goes against school policy to discuss legal matters with the press.” The boy’s father also claims that his attorney instructed him to not speak with the media until they’ve established the groundwork for their case.