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thedrifter
10-30-03, 05:52 AM
'Patriotic' Stick Figure Drawing Troubles School

Wednesday, October 29, 2003



NEW YORK A 14-year-old New Jersey schoolboy whose dad and stepdad are in the military was suspended for five days because he drew a "patriotic" stick figure of a U.S Marine blowing away a Taliban fighter, officials said yesterday.

"He's been punished for the drawing," said Tinton Falls school superintendent Leonard Kelpsh. "We felt it was highly inappropriate, and we took it very seriously."

Scott Switzer, of Colts Neck, was sent home last week from Tinton Falls Middle School (search) after a teacher saw the image on a computer and described it to the principal.

Scott, who turned 14 Tuesday and was headed back to school Wednesday, said he was unjustly disciplined for his sketch of "a war scene."

"Truth be told, it's a Marine shooting a terrorist Taliban," he told The Post. "It's just a picture. What upsets me most is that the principal would dare say it's not normal. To me, it's patriotic."

Kelpsh said the five-day punishment was appropriate, adding that he would not discuss Scott's prior disciplinary record. But family members said the teenager had been involved in three "minor" incidents, including an earlier suspension.

Scott's stepmom, Kim Switzer, 36, told The Post her son suffers from attention deficit disorder (search). The boy lives with his stepmom and father, who is serving as a Navy engineer aboard the USS Detroit in the Persian Gulf (search). Scott's stepfather is in the Army.

Scott said school officials may have been edgy because of an earlier incident in which other students had drawn a "very Columbine-ish" picture.

Officials said they were concerned because his drawing contained a reference to another student who they feared might have been a potential target.

But a local psychologist who examined the teenager said the sketch was benign.

"I don't attribute pathological significance to it," said Dr. Gloria Tillman, a psychologist who treated the boy for ADD.

"I have to wonder what is expected of our children today when 1) our country is at war and 2) both his father and stepfather are out fighting the war."

Scott's mother said school officials described the drawing as "not the work of a normal mind."

Scott said he understood the school's concern for student safety, but was offended by the principal's comments.

"Truth be told, I'm more upset that he'd insinuate that I'm mentally unstable," he said. "I'm the class clown. I'm not a bully."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,101569,00.html


Sempers,

Roger
:marine:

firstsgtmike
10-30-03, 08:28 AM
It seems to me that before we accept an issue for consideration or evaluation, we should consider the position of ALL parties involved.

When the "hero" suffers from ADD and had " been involved in three "minor" incidents, including an earlier suspension" , I would prefer the cleanliness of a more cut and dried, either-or situation.

In THIS one, too many ****s are covered by "previous behavior".

It must have been a slow day for the newspaper who thought they had an issue.

thedrifter
10-30-03, 08:49 AM
There is often more to the story..


Kelpsh said the five-day punishment was appropriate, adding that he would not discuss Scott's prior disciplinary record. But family members said the teenager had been involved in three "minor" incidents, including an earlier suspension.

Minor incidents don't lead to school suspensions........


Scott said school officials may have been edgy because of an earlier incident in which other students had drawn a "very Columbine-ish" picture.

This can and must be considered as a potential threat.....


Maybe he should concentrate on his school work more and being the "class clown" less.

Omega
10-30-03, 09:37 AM
Not to step on toes but I was once suspended for having jeans with frayed ends. Not cut offs mind you just fraying at the bottom because they were old jeans. I'd call that minor. But since we don't know what it was who knows...

The thing I really find inappropriate is the principal saying "not the work of a normal mind." these kinds of statements especially made to mass media can only hurt the kid and won't help any kind of situation this kid might have.

He probably got the Idea off a website called stickdeath.com which has all sorts of things like little movies of stick figure guys shooting other stick figures.

USMC-FO
10-30-03, 12:19 PM
As is often the case there is more to this than published by the NY Post.

It is my understanding, as stated by the chairman of the school district involved, that this supension IS NOT related to the "Marine/Taliban" figure. Rather the suspension is related to a similar stick figure redition of a shooting where this student specificly noted the name of a classmate that he wished to see eliminated.

BIG difference I would say, and one that would warrent active intervention in addition to a suspension.

Sparrowhawk
10-30-03, 12:50 PM
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/cce3/stickfigures/fight3.gif