The Washington Post

What should a school do with a child like this?

What should a school be able to do with a child like this?

A third-grade student in a Key Largo, Fla., public school was suspended for two days after he “reportedly threatened to shoot and stab his classmates and teachers during an outburst,” according to the Miami Herald. The unidentified student, according to a report filed with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, pretended to stab a classmate and a teacher with a pencil, told classmates that he was going “to shoot them all in the head,” and described how he was going to attack classmates with a chainsaw, the paper said.

Parents said they were angry that the child — who has reportedly displayed unusual behavior and made threats for over a year — was not expelled and that they were not told about the incident by the school. Parent Rob Bulkiewicz was quoted as saying:

They call us when they want a donation, but not when a kid threatens to shoot our kids in the face.

School and district officials did not comment, but Monroe County school board member John Dick was quoted as saying that Florida law bars public schools from suspending students for more than 10 days, no matter what the infraction even though “we don’t have the facilities in the district to handle a situation like that.”

What should schools be allowed to do with students that are troubled in this way? Who should be helping?

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college
Next Story
Valerie Strauss · January 14, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.