Ohio Mom Upset After School Suspends 12-Year-Old Son For Staring At Girl

| by Jared Keever
School sign, entranceSchool sign, entrance

An Ohio court has rejected a couple’s attempt to have their son’s school suspension erased from his record after he was disciplined last year for staring at another student. 

Candice Tolbert told FOX 19 News recently that she wants the suspension erased because she believes St. Gabriel Consolidated School, in Glendale, Ohio, didn’t give her son due process.

Her son, who is not named in the story and wasn’t interviewed, did nothing more than stare at a female student in September 2014, Tolbert said. Her son is black, and the female student is white.

“The perception is he intimidated her,” she said. 

“My son stared at a girl who was engaged in a staring game,” Tolbert added. “She giggled the entire time.”

Court records indicate that the girl “felt fearful.” The incident was said to have happened on a Monday with the female student’s parents calling the school on a Tuesday to complain. Tolbert’s 12-year-old son was reportedly spoken to on Tuesday but his parents said they weren’t notified of any problem until Wednesday. 

By that time, Tolbert’s son had already written an apology letter, according to court documents.

“I never knew she was scared because she was laughing,” the letter read, according to FOX 19.

“I understand I done [sic] the wrong thing that will never happen again,” the letter also reportedly read. “I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation."

Judge Patrick Dinkelacker of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court recently upheld the male student’s suspension. 

FOX 19 contacted the school for comment but was referred to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati which responded with a written statement. 

“Judge Patrick Dinkelacker listened to the plaintiff’s arguments yesterday, rejected them, and dismissed the complaint against the school,” the statement read.  “We aren’t going to comment any further on particular issues concerning our students.”

A few months ago, a Minnesota court reportedly overturned a female high school student’s expulsion after she was kicked out of school for accidentally carrying a pocket knife to school in her purse.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in July that Alyssa Drescher, who is white, was wrongly expelled for carrying the knife to school after using it while lending a hand on her boyfriend’s family’s dairy farm, KARE 11 News reported at the time. The court found that she had not “willfully” violated school policy, which is required for an expulsion under state statutes. 

As for the Tolberts in Ohio, they say they are considering appealing the judge’s decision in their case. 

Sources: FOX 19 News, KARE 11 News

Photo credit: Michael Baldwin/FOX 19 Now, WikiCommons