KERMIT- The Kermit School District tells NewsWest 9 that they have received phone calls from all over the nation about a fourth grader who was suspended from Kermit Elementary School because of a movie reference. However, the question remains, is there more to this disciplinary action then what the press has been reporting.
News out of Kermit last week claims 9-year-old Aiden Steward was suspended after he told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring. A reference to the movie The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.
According to the New York Daily News, the family recently watched the movie and Steward was just playing make-believe. The story spread nationwide getting parents in Kermit talking.
"It's kind of crazy that he got suspended from school because I don't think it was worth getting suspended," Kermit Parent, Tammy Broaddus, said.
"It's Kermit, it's a great community. I've been here 43-years and it's a small town, everybody knows everybody. It's sad what's happening in our schools that it's being splashed over national news, it's even made the New York Post," Kermit Parent, Mary Hellen Pando, said.
Kermit Superintendent Bill Boyd could not talk on camera because of the school district's policy. However, in a statement to NewsWest 9 he says: "We like to emphasize that our teachers and administrators are well-trained and have properly implemented the District's policy and student code of conduct and certainly do not base disciplinary placement decisions on literary or cinematic references as reported by the Odessa American," Kermit Superintendent, Bill Boyd said.
The school district won't talk about the suspension. The statement went on to read, "The discipline of any KISD student is confidential under the Family Educational Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA). There are many good things going on in Kermit ISD that deserve far more attention than this matter, and for that reason, the district will provide no further comment," Boyd said.
With school violence on the rise around the nation, the district felt it was justifiable to take the action they did.
"It's good the district is proactive but they need to be proactive in the areas of bullying. This to me is imagination, they're just playing," Kermit Parent, Sandra Bonilla, said.