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"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.
Originally posted by curme
Cuss out your teachers, and you are going to get in trouble. Sound's like some loud-mouth brat doesn't know how to behave like an adult. Some Mom's are in Iraq, some are plumbers in Florida, it doesn't matter. Learn to behave and you won't get in trouble.
On Friday, the school district reduced the suspension to three days, which will allow Francois to return to school Monday.
School officials received many calls about the incident, said assistant principal Wendell Turner.
"People are fussing at us, calling us names," Turner said.
Kevin Francois ... was in the school cafeteria on Wednesday when his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, called. When Francois went outside to get better reception, he was spotted by a teacher who told him to hang up, citing a district policy against cell phone use during school hours.
School district officials said Francois initially had not told the teacher that he was speaking with his mother in Iraq and had cursed when he was told to hang up.
"The teacher escorted the young man to the office, where assistant principals tried to get him to calm himself and to cease the use of profanity. It was only at this point that administrators learned he was talking to his mother in Iraq," Phillips said.
But Francois insists that he immediately told the teacher he was speaking to his mother: "I told her in a calm voice: "I'm on the phone with my Mom in Iraq. I'm not going to give you the phone.' "
Francois said he did become frustrated when the teacher took his phone. "I got some attitude," he said. "But I didn't curse. I just couldn't understand why I couldn't talk to her. I kept pleading and pleading."
Michelle Joyner of the National Military Family Association said any communication with a family member deployed in Iraq should be approached sensitively.
"Kids do need that contact," she said. "Just to hear and say hello, and be able to know that your loved one is safe."
Francois said his mother did not learn of his suspension until he e-mailed her a newspaper story. "She was mad," he said.
He said he looks forward to the monthly call from his mother, who left in January for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq.
Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army base city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn't give up his cell phone while talking to his mom a sergeant on duty in Iraq.
The angry calls about the boy's suspension got so bad at one point that secretaries had to take their phones off the hook, assistant principal Alfred Parham said.
Kevin Francois, a 17-year-old junior at Spencer High School, was suspended for 10 days for disorderly conduct Wednesday after a teacher told him to give up his cell phone outside the school during his lunch break and he refused, the teen said.
The boy said he had not expected the call from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour.
The teacher says the confrontation happened in a hallway, not outside, and that Francois never said the call was with his mother.
The punishment for violating that policy is that the phone is confiscated until the end of the day. But Francois was suspended for cursing and being defiant, said Parham. That was extended to 10 because "he did not want to accept the three-day suspension and to agree that he would not use the cell phone openly or curse."
Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
In my opinion, the foul-mouth, insolent little twerp should have been dismissed for the year, but for those who feel that schools have no right to impose standards and discipline, this development should assuage the outrage somewhat.
[edit on 05/5/7 by GradyPhilpott]