Boy Gets Suspended For Sticking A 'Kick Me' Sign On A Classmate's Back — But Is That Bullying Or Teasing?

Fri, February 18, 2011 3:11pm EDT by 4 Comments

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A 9-year-old student got kicked out of school for playing a classic prank on another classmate. Do you think he deserved that punishment? VOTE!

With all the bullying that has been happening in schools, administrators have taken extreme measures when it comes to one classic schoolyard prank. PS 158, an Upper-East side school that enforces a zero-tolerance anti-bullying policy, kicked a 9-year-old boy out of school for sticking a yellow “kick me, please” Post-it on a fellow student’s back. Too extreme or did the prankster get what he deserved?

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This situation has caused a lot of controversy among parents, including the mother of the young boy who says her son was simply “playing around.” But, another parent called the Post-it prank “maliciousness — it’s not kid’s play.” The school’s reaction to the incident should come as no surprise though, considering New York City schools banned bullying in 2008.

“School authorities might not have the leeway to do things differently,” Richard Gallagher, director of NYU’s Child Studies Center tells the New York Post. “We have to be very careful about zero tolerance and how it gets implemented. Teasing behaviors are pretty typical. But the boundary between teasing and bullying is different.”

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The little boy’s behavior caused PS 158 Principal Darryl Alhadeff to warn his parents and suspend him from school for two days for “engaging in bullying behavior.” According to a Department of Education spokeswoman, this “was just the latest incident between the students. The principal followed procedure, held parent conferences and offered counseling.” So was this really bullying? A student says no!

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“[He] was probably teasing,” a fourth grader tells the New York Post. “[The boy] either teases you or he tells you he’s going to start hitting you, but he never does.” HollyMoms, what do YOU think about this schoolyard situation?

–Leigh Blickley

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