Is Suspension Too Harsh For Eighth Graders Who Threatened to Set Teacher on Fire (Or Cut Out her Tongue, Drown Her, Or Run Her Over With Truck)?

deathnoteszd.jpg
This is a copy of the "death plan" a few Chandler junior high students had for their teacher.
The Chandler Unified School District decided yesterday to uphold a semester-long suspension for five eighth grade students who threatened to kill their teacher by -- among other methods -- setting her on fire, cutting out her tongue, drowning her, or running her over with a truck.

See our post on the students' death threats here.

The students, four girls and one boy, ages 12 and 13, aren't allowed to go back to Santan Junior High School until next semester, and some -- their parents, especially -- are concerned the punishment is too harsh.

"I, as many others, sincerely believe the long-term suspension extending through the end of the semester is beyond unjust and severe," Kim Thomas, the mother of one of the girls, wrote in a letter to district administrators last month. "In no way is this punishment fitting of the actions demonstrated by the students."

The board is allowing the students to finish the semester at another school within the district, so it's not like these kids are being told they can't go to school.

If you ask us, these kids got off easy -- they threatened to kill a teacher.

We want to know what you think, though: is a semester-long suspension?

Cast your vote below.




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34 comments
BlacksFerPeace
BlacksFerPeace

I would like to see the kids given a cash bonus. I hate school marms too.

Jason
Jason

Is suspension too harsh?

Absolutely not. I personally believe that expulsion is the best punishment for this situation.

What these kids did was heinous. I hope they get their asses criminally charged.

Guest
Guest

Please observe that the students didn't really threaten anyone. The note in question wasn't delivered, it was confiscated after being wadded up for disposal. The adults in question were terrorized, mainly because they were easily terrified. The kids did exhibit poor judgement and plenty of it. Certainly they have learned in nothing else, to be wary of authority figures. That much they will take forward, and it will be a valuable lesson.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

I think that not only should they be suspended but they should also be required to get some sort of mental health evaluation.

If I ever saw this from one of my kids I would certainly be concerned about their mental welfare and not that they are being punished too harshly.

What if they followed through and injured or killed this teacher?  Would the mother argue then that the death penalty would be "too harsh" even though this note is proof enough is was premeditated?

This mother and these other parents needs to be looked at too if this is the attitude they bring to the plate.  There is obviously some issues at home and at school. 

I truly doubt there is anything this teacher actually did that would warrant being targeted to be murdered.  What is wrong with kids when they use violence as the way to make something better? 

That of course is my opinion as a parent, as a former teenager and as somebody who had a hard time growing up but never resorted to violence to make things better. 

Marcy
Marcy

I think Kim Thomas should get a tubal ligation before she breeds again.  I'm not sure what punishment Kim thinks is appropriate for kids who sit around planning ways to murder and maim people, I'm not even sure they are being punished.   

bigriggs
bigriggs

Please....these little shits easily deserve this. Being out of school for a few weeks should not in any way impede the childrens learnig if the parents give one iota about their education. Instead of bitching and moaning about how little Johnny and Mary are being persecuted for death threats, the parents should be setting up any and all possible scenrarios, including finishing the semester at an alternate school for the learning process to continue. 

I hope these students and parents learn something from this but in the back of my mind I think they are mostly pissed off because they got caught.

Shooter McGaven
Shooter McGaven

Is Kim Thomas fucking high? The point of school is to prepare kids for real life. Well guess what, in real life when you threaten to fuck someone up, there are consequences. I hope these moms like their kids, because they're setting themselves up for a life where their precious angels never leave the house. Your 50 year-old baby will be with you when you're 70.  Well done dipshits.

VIMIIS
VIMIIS

Parents making light of their kids' obnoxious behavior.  What ever happened to giving out consequences for bad decisions.  I am with the school district 100%.  These kids are lucky they didn't end up thrown out of school altogether.  There is always the option of home schooling.

Tracy Frank
Tracy Frank

Two points: 

1. The semester is almost over. I read in another article that some are concerned that they're (the students) gonna fall behind. Wow. Shouldn't we be a lil more concerned about the sociopathic behavior they exhibited as opposed to whether or not they don't fully grasp algebra?

2. The fact that the parents of these children are more concerned with the harshness of the consequence than the highly inappropriate behavior of their offspring says a lot about how these kids thought what they did was acceptable. It's unfortunate you can't suspend parents because they're failing at their most important job.

We all have to learn about personal responsibility at some age, too bad their parents, and the other apologists, were absent the day they taught that in class.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

I would like to see them criminally charged also so that some court ordered mental health evaluation and treatment could take place. The "not my kid" mom in this case is almost a guarantee that her kid will go on to bigger and better crimes.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

You don't look at this as a threat?

What needs to happen before somebody like you would take this seriously?

No matter what you say.....these kids are a threat to themselves and to others.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Shooter, you make a valid point. I live 'down the street' from a private Christian school. They post the 15 mph zone half an hour before school to half an hour after school. During actual arrival and dismissal times they have a security guard with a stop sign helping HIGH SCHOOL students cross the street.

The pendulum of protection has swung so far askew we no longer are preparing our children for anything resembling 'real' life. They live in a bubble of idealism and have no idea what it's like to deal with real life conflict and issues.

These kids were being 'stupid' teenagers and perhaps not living in reality. The reality, however, is that now they have to face the consequences and if they fall behind in school, so be it.

The parents should be supporting the action of the school, not the actions of their children.

Jenna
Jenna

Kids do stupid things and make bad decisions. They should not be judged as adults. What these 12 and 13 year olds are talking about isn't real to them. Kids need consequences for their actions, but could they learn from consequences that don't undermine their education? Of course. Derailing a kid's education over bad judgement is just about adults covering their own asses.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

when I was in K-3 grade I went to a private school. I walked half a mile to school and back every day. It was along a busy street in a smallish big city (Cincinnati, OH for those that are wondering) They had crossing guards at the one big intersection near the school, for the rest of the way it was me on my own. These days kids are pampered when it rains their parents drive them home from the bus stops. I mean sometimes my parents picked me up, but not always. (when I went to high school I lived 1.3 miles from the school, and they said I lived less then 1 mile from the school...

Tommy, I wouldn't want children in this stupid state to fall any more behind then they already are.

Henrietta Russel
Henrietta Russel

They are 14 and in four years they will be emancipated adults.

Yes, what they did was stupid and role playing, but remember, stupid role playing got us Columbine, Red Lake and lots of dead kids. When you have a group they feed off each other, each one has to go a step further with the bravado and then pretty soon it doesn't take much to be out of control.

These kids are very fortunate they got caught before it escalated into something that would ruin their whole lives. A good follow up dose of supervised community service among the down and out and indigent would do a lot to teach them what they have and could lose.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Jenna, the suspension will serve as a life lesson for the kids to help them become adults. Hopefully they will now realize threats, imagined or real, are not taken lightly and they won't repeat these actions as adults when they would get into more trouble than suspension from school. I can assure you those empty seats in class will send a preventive message to the other students, as well. If these kids were doing this stuff during class their seats were pretty well empty to learning anyway.

Tracy Frank
Tracy Frank

If they were being judged as adults, they'd be sitting jail.

RE: "Derailing a kid's education..."

Missing school for 3 weeks is derailing their education? Wow. Alarmist much? Why can't the parents collect their schoolwork and have them spend their suspension completing their assignments?

You're excusing their behavior as "kids will be kids" and that's frightening.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I was waiting for it and BINGO...we have a winner, the first jackass to try and pin these kids on Columbine. I was in high school when Columbine happened. when I was in middle school I got in trouble for writing  a short story for class on an attack by an enemy on our school and how some of the teachers got killed but that the principal was able to save our school from the dreaded enemies. I got yelled at because one of my teachers I mentioned was one of my own.. who happened to have been killed in the story. My point is that when you are 11, 12, 13, your mind might be inventive. I think I had recently watched Red Dawn at the time and though it was neat.

I disagree with all of you. Should I have been suspended for a whole semester? that is equal to around 3 months?

BTW what I did wasn't nearly as bad as what they did.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Have to completely agree with Tommy.If you think that kids this age wouldn't carry out these kind of threats, try listening to a 14 yr old who looked like a choirboy, tell the story about how he helped a friend kill his mother over an 8 hr. period by a combination of strangling, stabbing, and beating.  When he finished his story, I realized that he talked about this act like most kids would talk about a trip to the mall.I left out some of the more gruesome details of this  murder which occurred in Phoenix in the early nineties.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Thanks for contributing in no significant way at all Jenna.   I personally just love to hear about how you raised the next Jesus Christ and you're wholesome better- than-thou wisdom.

LL
LL

I hardly expect my HS junior to think like an adult, but I do expect him to respect his elders and his teachers. Not only would he be suspended from school, but he would be grounded (in our house, that means no TV, no phone, no Internet, no video games, nothing but chores, discussions of his behavior and reading books) well beyond the start of the next semester. Does he make mistakes? Yes, of course he does. And he learns by those mistakes when he must suffer the consequences. Have I ever had to punish him more than once for the same transgression? No, because he learned his lesson the first time.

Children act out what they are taught by their parents. These children appear to have been taught to threaten and intimidate. That is very frightening. If they learn now that threats, whether real or perceived, have real consequences, perhaps they might think twice when, as an adult, they consider "going postal" at work. Excuse their behavior now and you're giving them license to threaten and intimidate their way through life.

Tracy Frank
Tracy Frank

Annnnndd that's where you lost me. Personally insulting a complete stranger is so very mature.

Hope your angelic child will fly in and catch you when you fall out of your ivory tower so you don't bruise your ass.

Have a nice day.

Jenna
Jenna

Sorry you are so frightened. I raised a happy, well adjusted kid who grew up to be a happy, well adjusted, responsible and educated man. Did he make mistakes? Of course he did. Did I expect him to think like an adult in junior high? Of course not. Only an adult with and 8th grade mentality would think otherwise.

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