GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – A mother is claiming that her special needs son was suspended indefinitely from school for drawing a picture of a bomb. Amy Parham said her son, Rhett, is a fan of the video game Bomber Man and drew the picture depicting a cartoon-ish like explosive at home over the weekend. She said he then took the drawing to Hillcrest Middle School where he showed it to some older children who subsequently reported him to school administration. According to Parham, that’s when her son was handed an indefinite suspension by the school.
“They actually reiterated to me they knew he was non-violent,” said Parham. “They knew he was not actually having a bomb, creating or making a bomb. But that they could not go with out making an example of him and take some type of action because they were worried about their perception. Perception is actually the word he used. Perception is reality, and parents might think you have a bomb or [might be] violent.”
Greenville County Schools spokesman Oby Lyles released the following statement: “We cannot comment about an individual student. In global terms, a special education student is suspended pending a manifestation hearing which determines if the behavior is due to the student’s disability.”
FOX Carolina reached out to the South Carolina Department of Education. They also released a statement:
“We have not heard directly from this parent and she has not made a written complaint with the agency. At this time, since the matter relates to student discipline, it is left up to the local school district to investigate the issue through a manifestation hearing and determine if the student’s behavior is due to his disability.”
Parham hopes that the issue will be resolved and her son can return to school.
A bomb disposal robot was called in to detonate the drawing of the cartoon bomb in a controlled environment.
No injuries were reported.
Photo: Fox Carolina / Amy Parham