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Fair Or Foul: 5 Year Old Suspended For Imagining Bomb In Backpack

A Kindergartener attending a charter school in Modesto, CA was suspended from school last month for refusing to remove his backpack, allegedly stating it would blow off if he took it off his shoulders. His parents are upset over his punishment and want the school to remove the incident from his permanent record according to AZ News.

The child, Jackson Riley, stated he “couldn’t” take it off because it would explode, something his parents say is a part of his imagination and shouldn’t be punished for. Riley’s parents say now knows he “can’t say ‘bomb’ at school.” Something he took lightly, before his punishment.

They also argue he never actually threatened anyone, because he refused to take his backpack off in order to “protect” those around him from the imaginary bomb. They want the suspension removed from his permanent record, but the school refused to discuss the incident and instead simply stated they take “student safety and discipline very seriously.”

Before the incident, the school never had a disciplinary rule about children referring to a bomb, it was added after the incident with this 5-year-old. They first sent a letter to Riley’s parents explaining he had been suspended because he “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation.” However, the letter indicated the code the boy had violated only applied to fourth through 12th graders. So the school sent a new letter to reflect a different code, which accused Riley of making “terroristic threats towards school officials.” Something they added to their disciplinary code after his incident.


Now Riley has to have this suspension detailed on his record through High School. Do you think his punishment was fair or foul?



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