What Were They Thinking???

In one of the most boneheaded moves I  have seen from a public school:

Kyler Robertson’s father was stabbed to death Sunday afternoon during an argument, a tragedy that the 16-year-old boy has struggled to understand.

On Tuesday, still grieving, Kyler decided he would rather go to Byron Nelson High School and be around his friends than stay home.

When he arrived at the Trophy Club school, his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He was accused of being under the influence of marijuana, according to a Northwest school district document provided to the Star-Telegram. Kyler was suspended for three days and was told that beginning Friday, he would be placed in the district’s alternative education program until Jan. 14, 2011.

On Wednesday afternoon, his mother, Cristy Fritz, provided school officials with a negative drug test for marijuana for Kyler, and she was told that he will no longer have to attend the alternative school.

But Kyler, a member of the school’s junior-varsity golf team, remains suspended and has to file an appeal to have that removed from his record, Fritz said.

She wants an apology from the district for the way it has handled the case. “We’re just so overwhelmed with everything that is going on right now,” Fritz said. “He wanted to be at school and be among his friends and support.”

The district includes three days of suspension to allow time for more investigation before a student is sent to the alternative campus, said Lesley Weaver, a district spokeswoman. “Those three days are included in there to make sure … we have all the facts,” Weaver said.

Weaver said she could not discuss specifics about a student’s case because of federal privacy rules.

Kyler arrived a few minutes after the first bell sounded, and a teacher sent him to the office for being tardy, Fritz said. After office staffers alerted campus administrators that something was wrong with Kyler, his mother was summoned to the school.

A school nurse assessed Kyler and reported that his behavior and mental status were normal but that he had bloodshot and watery eyes and elevated pulse and blood pressure and appeared jittery, Fritz said.

Fritz said she was told that her son would be suspended for three days and then sent to the alternative school.

“I asked, ‘Do you have any evidence? What is your basis for this?’ They said this is just our observation and he smelled like marijuana,” she said.

After leaving the campus, Kyler underwent a urine drug screening at his doctor’s office within two hours. “Kyler has been evaluated by me and shows no evidence of being under the influence of any illicit drug or alcohol,” Keller physician Brandon Atkinson wrote in a statement to the school Tuesday.

Atkinson diagnosed Kyler, who suffers from allergies, with a sinus infection, Fritz said.And Kyler’s blood pressure rises from time to time because of a kidney problem he had as an infant, his mother said.

Kyler’s father, Richard “Richie” Robertson, 39, of Fort Worth, was killed Sunday afternoon, shortly after dropping off a man in the 7100 block of Willow Creek Road, a dead-end street south of Azle in unincorporated Tarrant County.

Sheriff’s Department officials said Robertson got into an argument with a man who lived on the property. Another man, Paul Leggett, stabbed Robertson in the left upper back as Robertson sat in his vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Department.


I was sitting through a speech the other day where someone mentioned that they were raised in a time when if there was a problem with a student at school, it was the students fault, not the teachers.  I have to admit, I felt positive feelings about this, after seeing overly apologetic and permissive parents unleash their hellions on the world.

But then I see instances such as this, or the kindergartner who was suspended for sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, and it just drives the point home that teachers, as any human adult, will tend towards entropy.  By this I mean, whatever the easiest answer is.

In this kids case, he was railroaded because they claimed some subjective BS argument by saying “he smelled like marijuana”.  Oh really?

Perhaps I am sensitive to this issue because of my own experiences growing up as well as putting two sons through the local public school system.  Just last week I had a teacher call me, upset because it was completely unacceptable that my son would not provide an answer to a personal question, despite her fervent demands (the question had to do with friendships, and he misunderstood it to be relationships…which is an “out of bounds” topic for him).  But at the end of the day, no one’s life was at risk and there was no compelling reason that he should be forced to answer her.

It seems that some in the field have forgotten what it is they are there for to begin with.  Kudo’s to Kyler Robertson and his mother for standing up for what is right.


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