• Racist symbols at school result in expulsions

    Date: 11.10.09 | by Judge Tom.

    The truck-load of sod at Sinclair Elementary School in Virginia was to be used around the school’s new curbs and sidewalks. Instead six high school students used it to spell out hateful words in the school’s parking lot. Some of the  boys were charged with vandalism. Their work included “White Power,” a swastika and “KKK” as shown in the picture below.

    In October, 2009, the School Board voted to expel all of them for up to one year. An agreement was reached with four of the boys whereby the expulsions would be shortened to one semester upon completion of community service hours, agreeing to a strict behavior contract, and a trip to the Holocaust Museum in nearby Washington, D.C. Two of the boys reportedly didn’t appeal the year expulsion.

    Although done as a prank, the boys’ parents agreed that they should have been punished. The high school’s Code of Behavior called for a zero-tolerance policy against any form of discrimination.

    Do you agree with the one-year expulsion? Is that too long for what the boys did or not long enough? Do you think this could have caused any disruption at school or does free speech protect the boys’ action? Are these trigger words that have the potential to disrupt a school campus? Do you think moving the sod around to spell words is “vandalism?” Why or why not?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • KellyAnn
      Tue, 24 Nov 2009 at 06:08

      Wow, Expulsion is sooooo right i think. The KKK and “white Power” is DEFINATLY against rights. Not to mention the swastika! That is horrid! If it was a ‘prank’ they would of done something less exteme in my opinion! Not vandleism nessicarily ’cause it will go right away.. in my opinion it’s not vandlism but is definatly wrong!