Oct 6, 2010 7:20 PM by Zach Thaxton
A 12-year-old Lewis-Palmer Middle School student is serving a 3-day suspension because of a Facebook post that was perceived as threatening. The boy's mother says Lewis-Palmer School District 38 overreacted and is making an example of her son.
Christopher Sanchez's post from 3:49 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 stated "Tomorrow it's going down. Don't worry I'll show everyone." The father of one of Christopher's friends spotted the post. Alarmed, he contacted the office at Lewis-Palmer Middle School. Friday, Christopher was brought to the principal's office. "They started asking me questions about my Facebook post," Christopher says. "They said, 'this is a threat and we have to suspend you for 3 days.'"
Christopher says the post was never meant to be threatening. "It came from a comedian, Kevin Hart." Christopher says the whole post stems from a prank organized by him, his brother, and some friends to get the school bus driver to pick them up at the bottom of a hill on their road rather than the top of the hill. "Because it's more efficient to get to the bottom of the hill than the top," says Christopher.
Christopher's mother, Iris, says the suspension is too harsh. She says the school district is using her son as example of the type of discipline that can be handed down. She thinks the district reacted too quickly rather than getting the full story from Christopher. "Had I seen the post, I would've done the same thing," Iris says. "I would've called the school and said 'you need to check this out.' My hope is they would check their facts first."
The Lewis-Palmer School District sent the following statement to News First 5:
"Federal law prohibits the School District from discussing disciplinary actioins involving any specific student. Our policies are very clear: that suspension is mandatory for any student who makes a threat, on or off school grounds, verbally or in writing. A student may also be suspended for violating the Code of Conduct. Lewis-Palmer School District takes any implication of a threat seriously and protecting the safety of students and staff members is an utmost priority. We encourage students to report any action or statement that may be intended to cause mental or physical harm, and we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate actions when warranted."
Iris says a meeting is scheduled for Thursday to determine when and whether Christopher can return to class. She says she's considering pulling him from Lewis-Palmer Middle School entirely. "I do not want him watched for every little thing he says, every little thing he does," Iris says.
Both Christopher and Iris say there are lessons to be learned from this ordeal. "I kind of regret posting it," Christopher admits. Iris warns, "Be careful what you say, be careful what you do, and definitely be careful if you post it on Facebook."