Special-needs boy suspended for bomb cartoon

special-needs student was suspended from middle school for drawing a cartoon bomb, reports WTOC-TV.

A photo of the bomb Parham's son drew. (Oct. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina & Amy Parham)A photo of the bomb Parham’s son drew. (Oct. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina & Amy Parham)

Amy Parham said her son, Rhett,  is a fan of the video game Bomber Man. He drew the bomb at home, but took it to school.

“They actually reiterated to me they knew he was non-violent,” said Parham. “They knew he was not actually having a bomb, creating or making a bomb. School officials told her it was a question of  “perception.”

Rhett will get a hearing to see if his perceived offense is related to his disability. (I think he’s on the autism spectrum, which would mean he’s not good at reading social cues.)

Boys like things that explode, writes Darren on Right on the Left Coast.

When he was young, a local TV show called Miss Pat’s Playroom showed kids’ drawings. He sent one in. Miss Pat said: “And little Darren Miller sent in this picture of an airplane bombing a house.”

No one panicked. No one called for Miss Pat to be thrown off the air. No one called for me to be psychoanalyzed. Back then people were smart enough to realize that boys draw such pictures and it’s perfectly normal, just like playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians.

“Now we’ve taken what is perfectly normal and criminalized it, stigmatized it, and freaked out over it,” he writes. Which is stupid.

About Joanne


  1. … a problem of whose perception?

    Fire the lot of them.

  2. Stacy in NJ says:

    I’m going to concur with Glenn Reynolds:

    Public education is child abuse.

  3. School administrators: proving themselves morons on a daily basis.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      JND. I’m going to take a leap here. Let’s presume they weren’t morons when they got into the business. What happened to their brains since?
      If they were morons at the start, do we need to talk to the people who passed them through various courses and positions? What would we ask?

      • Richard: The data I’ve seen over the years indicates that folks going for the EdD or administrative programs tend to be the lower echelons of the ed crop.


        I doubt they’re actual morons in a clinical sense. Some were above average at some point. Unused skills atrophy, so does intelligence. Programs have to fill seats, ed schools are cash cows. Administrators are paid relatively well and don’t have high cognitive demands. What’s to understand? An easy day’s work at a good rate of pay.

        Interesting to note that the higher ed and secondary degrees tend to be much higher than the admins.

  4. palisadesk says:

    “Let’s presume they weren’t morons when they got into the business. What happened to their brains”

    Ah, you’ve brought up one of my favorite enigmas. I’ve known some who definitely were not morons to start with, and who seemed to have lost all useful gray matter after being promoted through the education bureaucracy.

    My half-in-jest, all in earnest, hypothesis is that a variant of Legionnaire’s Disease bacillus infests the ventilation systems of Department of Education/ school district office buildings. Its source is shrouded in secrecy — germ warfare? CIA experiments? Let your imagination run wild. However, once people move into this environment to work the bacilli slowly destroy the reasoning functions of their cerebral cortex, while leaving the jargon generator untouched. An insidious plot indeed;-)