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  1. #1
    213th's Avatar
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    Deployed dad calls son, son gets suspended

    A Texas sergeant and his son recently found themselves separated not only by an eight-hour time difference, several bodies of water, hundreds of miles and a war, but by a high school official who suspended the boy for answering his dad's call during class.
    Cove High School in Texas, where half the students have at least one parent deployed, justified the punishment against Brandon Hill by saying he had violated the no-cell-phone policy when he took the call from his father, who is serving in Iraq.
    "I have been going through a lot of stress lately and my dad’s like my best friend, so I go to him for everything," the sophomore told FOX News on Saturday.
    "I needed to talk to him, so my mom got a hold of him on Yahoo and told him to call me, so I answered the phone call in class."
    Click here to view video.
    When he learned of his son’s punishment, Master Sgt. Morris Hill said he was unsettled.
    "When my wife told me, I was pretty disturbed by it," he said in a phone call from Iraq.
    "I was pretty shocked, considering that several months before we left I had talked to the … assistant principal and thought everything was fine," Morris Hill said.

    "Since my kid’s been going to the school we’ve had a pretty good working relationship."
    And when his mother, Patricia Hill, tried to contact school officials, she received no response until her son’s story garnered media attention.
    The matter has since been resolved, Patricia Hill said, but she added that more must be done to protect children around the country from being punished in similar circumstances.
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  2. #2
    Just KC's Avatar
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    As a parent I wouldn't even care about the suspension!!
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  3. #3
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    sounds like prime time to find a new school
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holliday View Post
    sounds like prime time to find a new school
    +1
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  5. #5
    Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just KC View Post
    As a parent I wouldn't even care about the suspension!!
    The hell I would raise with that school knows no bounds. Aside from the shouting match that would happen, I would take legal action, if only on principle.

    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence.
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  6. #6
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    that is just bonehead stupid.
    that could have been the last time in his life he heard from his dad.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence.
    That's it exactly! When you take away any discretion you get stupid stuff like this. Or the TSA confiscating chocolate shaped like a gun. There's always and exception to the rule and zero tolerance takes away the ability for someone to be smart about it.
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  8. #8
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    Just think, if he would have had a T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it they would never let him back, Zero Tolerance is stupid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holliday View Post
    sounds like prime time to find a new school

    NO NO HELL NO let that stupid administrator find a new school. I would raise so much hell, sue, papers, etc that they would NEVER forget me or my child. Damn, ask the kit to step out into the hallway and take his time.

  10. #10
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    Poorly handled.

    Boy to teacher "I'm hoping to get a call from my Dad"

    Teacher "If he calls, let me know and you can step into the hall"

    I wonder who whined to the Principal?
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  11. #11
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    First -- I have nothing but respect for the dad here. He's doing his best to take care of his son and serving our country.

    Second -- I do think the school over-reacted. This wasn't a case of a kid calling his girlfriend or even a parent calling a kid that they're going to see tonight.

    BUT -- I also think the kid was in the wrong. PDawg has one approach where it could have been handled better. I don't know what the call set up where his dad is in Iraq is like; I've been told that in some places, making calls home is pretty easy -- and in others, it's all but impossible. At a minimum, there's an obvious time difference. But the school can't just automatically say "a call from a deployed parent is OK" but other calls aren't, either, especially with such a large population of students whose parents serve.

    I don't see a real easy solution; a lot, I think, depends on just why the kid had such a need to talk to his dad. I also don't know how much of a disruption the call was to the class; that would be an issue to me. The adminstrators should have investigated, and made an appropriate determination and set punishment, if any, in light of the investigation's results.

    But -- no matter what, the adminstrators absolutely should have been explaining this to the mother, without any media involvement. THAT is a given... you suspend a kid, their parents get to know why!

    One final thought... Some folks are figuring that the father's service in Iraq is an automatic exception from the rules. After all, he could be killed over there. So... what about a kid who's dad is a cop? Should that kid get an exception? Or a firefighter's kid? How about someone who's dad is a stop & rob clerk? What sort of risk makes an automatic exception? Does it involve how far away? If so -- what about a kid whose dad is simply on a ship cruising in the South Pacific? Or on an unattached tour somewhere in Europe? Or who's dad isn't in the service at all -- but his company's business has him out of the USA?
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  12. #12
    Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post

    BUT -- I also think the kid was in the wrong. But the school can't just automatically say "a call from a deployed parent is OK" but other calls aren't, either,
    Yes, the school can. There is an exception to every rule.

    I don't see a real easy solution
    I do...common sense. This situation is just proof that it isn't so common.

    What sort of risk makes an automatic exception? Does it involve how far away?
    For that, I'd say this: Everybody (cop, teacher, 7-11 clerk, cab driver, corporate drone) leaves the house most days with the possibility of NOT coming back. But almost every one of them does come back, every day, to be with their families.

    Extended time away from the family is enough justification for me, without even getting into the danger factor.

    If this situation had happened to me, I would ride that school so far underground they'd have to come and rescue me
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  13. #13
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    I think someone in the military would understand rules, and "Chain of Command," and the importance of respecting those rules.

    There was a way this could have been handled that would have shown respect for the rules, while still allowing contact.
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  14. #14
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayern View Post
    NO NO HELL NO let that stupid administrator find a new school. I would raise so much hell, sue, papers, etc that they would NEVER forget me or my child. Damn, ask the kit to step out into the hallway and take his time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    The hell I would raise with that school knows no bounds. Aside from the shouting match that would happen, I would take legal action, if only on principle.

    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence.
    I know rules are rules but that administrator needs to either have some leniency or go away. (to Iraq or 'Stan). I would tell him that if he didn't feel that he could lend some support to the troops here that he can damned sure stand in front of them and wait and see what happens next.


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  15. #15
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    I think someone in the military would understand rules, and "Chain of Command," and the importance of respecting those rules.

    There was a way this could have been handled that would have shown respect for the rules, while still allowing contact.
    I don't think you comprehend the difficulty of getting to make a phone call alot of times, nor many other factors such as time change, the father's work schedule etc etc. Even if he did explicitly realize that he was calling during school hours, he may not have had a chance to call some other time. It's not like your cell phone has great reception over there.

    And also, if I got a email telling me that my son needed to talk to me, I, like my dad, would make damn sure to return it as soon as i could, regardless of what he was doing. Unless I was expressly told it was not urgent.
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  16. #16
    CTR man's Avatar
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    If I was the son I would take that call, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the suspension. If they suspended me then so be it. Screw them. No one would keep me away from my family, especially in this situation. This is a deployed soldier we are talking about who, like 213th says, can't always pick and choose when he can use a phone.


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  17. #17
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    I have a big problem with that. I don't care if I was a teacher with a strict cell phone policy, if a parent in Iraq called one of my students, I'd let them answer with no penalties every time...
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    I don't think you comprehend the difficulty of getting to make a phone call alot of times, nor many other factors such as time change, the father's work schedule etc etc. Even if he did explicitly realize that he was calling during school hours, he may not have had a chance to call some other time. It's not like your cell phone has great reception on there.

    And also, if I got a email telling me that my son needed to talk to me, I, like my dad, would make damn sure to return it as soon as i could, regardless of what he was doing. Unless I was expressly told it was not urgent.
    I'm a former Navy brat - pre-cell phone/e-mail days, so I do know.

    I also worked in the local school district when the war broke out, so I saw the many things teachers do to help students deal with deployments.

    I look at this story like I would a story about an officer being accused of something - there's always more to the story, and it's not fair to judge people based on "headlines."

    I think that if the student had told his teacher that he was hoping to get a call from his dad, allowances may have been made. Or, if the mother had told the teacher that her son was having some problems and really needed to talk to his dad, and dad was going to call. All it takes is a note from a counselor, and you're good to go.

    What I suspect (having worked in that unique environment) is the parent of a student who was suspended for cell phone use previously complained when he didn't get suspended.
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  19. #19
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    This makes me sick.

  20. #20
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    Rules are rules but dang, that is ridiculous. I don't know much about it but I imagine that it's not just anytime that a serviceman can pick up a phone over there. Zero tolerance is not for all situations, there are (or should be) exceptions to almost every rule.
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