Thirteen-year-old Ethan Chaplin, who attends school in Vernon, New Jersey, was suspended for two days and will undergo a psychological evaluation after another student complained that he was “twirling a pencil” like a gun.
According to News 12 New Jersey, Chaplin said he was “just twisting around a pencil with a pen cap on it when a student behind him yelled, ‘He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.'”
Chaplin told officials he had repeatedly been bullied by the student who complained and that the complaint about the pencil was just an extension of that. But the school suspended him anyway, “pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation.”
Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano indicated that “school policy and the law requires [sic] him to investigate when anyone in school feels uncomfortable or threatened by another student.” He said, “We never know what’s percolating in the minds of children. And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.