ACLU petitions for Farmington Hills teen to go back to class - New York News

ACLU questions use of 'zero tolerance law' against Farmington Hills teen

Posted: Updated:
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

Kyle Thompson appears to be a typical 14-year old boy, but there's something about his life right now that's a little different. He's not going to school because he was kicked out.

The story begins last March at Harrison High School in Farmington Hills and continues with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) petitioning for his return to school. Thompson tells the ACLU he and his fellow football players came up with a "hit list" - a list of players they would like to hit on the football field. He and his friends say the list was just a joke, and even gave their teacher a peek when she asked what they were laughing at.

That's when the trouble began.

Thompson explains to the ACLU: "My teacher came over. She took [the list] from me, and I got up and grabbed the paper and we were pulling it back and forth. ... When we were pulling it back and forth she was laughing at first, so I thought it was just a joke. She got serious, and I let go."

Then Thompson was escorted to the office and taken away by police. The teacher, who Thompson's mother says once called her son a polite young man, has accused him of assaulting her. The teacher told Farmington Hills Police she was concerned about the "hit list," that Thompson was being defensive and the teen pulled her with "great force" as she tried to walk away. Thompson's mother says this is something classmates completely disagree with.

Despite the statements from the fellow students, and the fact that Thompson had never been in serious trouble before, he was still expelled under Michigan's Zero Tolerance law, which states any student who assaults a teacher must be expelled - and not just from their school, but from any Michigan public or charter school for one year.

The ACLU produced a video sharing Thompson's story and posted it on YouTube, along with a petition to support letting him return to class. As of Monday night, more than 1,500 people have signed the petition. To watch the video and see the petition, click here. Meanwhile, Kyle is scheduled to go to trial in October.

Fox 2 was unable to reach Kyle's teacher for a comment, but did receive a statement from Farmington Public Schools' Superintendent, Susan Zurvalec:

"Farmington Public Schools is prohibited by federal confidentiality laws from disclosing information of this type or even acknowledging if an incident like this occurred.
The issue raised in this petition presents an opportunity for citizens to examine zero tolerance laws in Michigan. The state legislature has mandated that an assault by a student against a teacher requires a one year expulsion from all public schools within the state.

This is known as a zero tolerance law.

In Farmington, we strive to consider each student and any incident separately and individually, taking all facts and circumstances into account. The zero tolerance law passed by our legislature takes that ability away from us and requires all assaults to be treated the same. It is up to state policy makers to revise these zero tolerance laws, and until that happens, we will continue to follow our legal mandates as they are."

 

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 2 children die in Queens fire

    2 children die in Queens fire

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:47 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:47:56 GMT
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in a fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in a fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
  • Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:56:44 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
  • Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Van Dyke Construction Scheduled Today

    Van Dyke Construction Scheduled Today

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:48 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:48:59 GMT
    A massive construction project is underway in Macomb County. If you travel on Van Dyke, you know how rough it is. Now, jackhammers are out there tearing up a two-and-a half mile stretch from 11 Mile to Chicago Rd. The road will be milled, then resurfaced with asphalt. New curbs will be installed. Nine intersections get new traffic signals. Sidewalks will be ramped to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Weather permitting, the project will be finished this summer.
    A massive construction project is underway in Macomb County. If you travel on Van Dyke, you know how rough it is. Now, jackhammers are out there tearing up a two-and-a half mile stretch from 11 Mile to Chicago Rd. The road will be milled, then resurfaced with asphalt. New curbs will be installed. Nine intersections get new traffic signals. Sidewalks will be ramped to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Weather permitting, the project will be finished this summer.
  • Chrysler Expanding Presence in China

    Chrysler Expanding Presence in China

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:32 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:32:50 GMT
    Fiat and Chrysler announced plans this weekend to build three new Jeep models in China for that market, the biggest for the vehicles outside the United States, as they attempt to boost sales in a country where they lag behind their competitors. The automakers said they will expand their joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd., and increase the portfolio of Jeeps, which are currently imported to China. Production is expected to start in late 2015.
    Fiat and Chrysler announced plans this weekend to build three new Jeep models in China for that market, the biggest for the vehicles outside the United States, as they attempt to boost sales in a country where they lag behind their competitors. The automakers said they will expand their joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd., and increase the portfolio of Jeeps, which are currently imported to China. Production is expected to start in late 2015.
  • Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:27 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:27:48 GMT
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices