Education

Texas School Says 9-Year-Old's 'Magic Powers' Are a Terrorist Threat

School suspends boy after he claims he'd make classmate invisible with "Hobbit" ring.

A fourth-grade boy was suspended from school for making a "terroristic" threat after he told a classmate that he could use his “magic ring” to make him disappear.

Nine-year-old Aiden Steward had only recently seen the movie, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies with his family and his father, Jason says that the ring he brought to school came from a box that Aiden used for magic tricks.

“He’s wanted to be a magician since he was 6. He does tricks for all his friends at school,” his father told the media.

For those unfamiliar with the books and director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, the main character, Bilbo Baggins wears a ring to become invisible. Jason Steward told The New York Daily News that kids like Aiden “act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly.”

However, make-believe and magic, even when coming from a little boy, put the fear in school officials. The school’s principal, Roxanne Greer, believes that Aiden’s claim he could make another boy disappear amounted to a terror threat. Jason Steward said Greer told him that Aiden’s threats against another child’s safety would not be tolerated.

There was no letter or call to the home, Greer immediately punished Aiden without offering an explanation, says Jason Steward. Greer declined to talk to the media, as did the Kermit School District superintendent Bill Boyd.  

Aiden Steward has attended Kermit Elementary beginning this school year and was suspended previously for calling an African American student at the school “black” and for bringing a children’s encyclopedia that had information about pregnancy to school.

Jason Steward further defended his son to the media. “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence,” he said. “If he did, I'm sure he'd bring him right back.'

Cliff Weathers is a former senior editor at AlterNet and served as a deputy editor at Consumer Reports. Twitter @cliffweathers.

 

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