As Chris Schauble, a morning co-anchor of KTLA 5′s TV news program in Los Angeles, visited the Stevenson Ranch Elementary School one lunchtime, an 11 year old fifth-grader Grayson Thomas, made a joke to a schoolmate seated next to him, saying something along the lines of “Obama’s visiting our school today,” writes Dave Urbanski at the Blaze.
It wasn’t Obama, of course. But the joke was taken the wrong way. And word of the Obama-Schauble comparison spread across the school, finally to Schauble’s daughter, Shelbi, who was sharing lunch with her newsman father.
The principal, Candace Fleece, met with Newhall School District superintendent, Marc Winger, and that afternoon, Grayson was kicked out of Stevenson Ranch for good, it is thought, for implying that all black men look alike.
School board president Suzan T. Solomon noted “regret” over “misinformation out in the press” regarding the ordeal but declined further comment.
Winger offered that “there are two sides to every story” but declined further comment, citing student confidentiality issues. He did, however, provide the following statement:
“The Newhall School District regrets that untrue statements have appeared in the media. The District adheres to the privacy requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), California Education Code sections 49062 et seq., Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations that safeguard a student’s educational records, privacy and confidentiality.”
Winger then revealed more to a local radio news site, saying:
“It’s not what [Grayson] said, it’s how he said it…I can tell you that there was history and that the student had been counseled and we met with the parents.”
It’s besides the point, says the pupil’s father, Darren Thomas. Thomas points out that neither Winger, Fleece, nor Solomon—not even Schauble or his daughter—were within earshot to evaluate “how” his son originally stated his Obama-lookalike comment. Therefore, he questions how the school can determine that Grayson’s comparison implied that all black men look alike.
“How can you assume the intent of a child?” Darren asked. “This is the thought police. [They’re] not God; [their] bureaucratic brain[s have] melted into a mush of political correctness.”
Grayson has a history of misbehavior, including an incident where he stole school supplies from a campus store with other students and other minor classroom outbursts, but Principal Fleece assured Thomas that this had nothing to do with the decision to permanently kick him out of the school.
Fleece makes the point that Grayson made the Obama-Schauble comparison in a “teasing” and “mocking” way and the school deals with racism very seriously.