On August 25, Anti-bvbl had a post on students who had spelled out racial slurs and statements using sod up at Sinclair Elementary School. (See Link) Since that day, the 6 students who were involved in this incident have been long term suspended or expelled for a calendar year. On Wednesday, 4 of these 6 students will appeal the decision of the School Board to have them removed from school for a year.


 According to the Washington Post:

Officials said that six boys used pieces of landscaping sod to form a swastika and spell out “KKK” and “white power” in a parking lot at Sinclair Elementary School in the Manassas area. They have been suspended from school since the Aug. 25 incident, said Roach, whose 14- and 16-year-old sons were among the group.

A committee of three school board members is to decide in a closed meeting Wednesday whether to follow the recommendation of another school system panel and expel them for the rest of the year, said Roach, who called that punishment “unjust.”

Four of the students were arrested and charged with vandalism, said Sgt. Kim Chinn, a Prince William police spokeswoman, but she couldn’t say which ones. Roach said she didn’t think any of the six had been charged

At some point, we have to ask ourselves what the point is of a year long expulsion. The students were not on school time. Sure they vandalized a school parking lot. If we look at time, cost and effort to repair their damages, unless the grass was killed, it was an easy fix. We also need to look at the impact of keeping 6 kids out of school for a year.

The words were stupid and inappropriate. Kids do things like that. They also say bad words and spell out countraband on calculators. Some even make Elmo say bad words. Are these things worth losing a year of education? I am not so sure PWC School Board isn’t on overkill on this one.

[UPDATE:   10/29/09] 

Four Stonewall Jackson High School students who admitted to creating racist symbols with sod in the parking lot of a Manassas area middle school (sic) were expelled for at least the rest of this semester after their appeals were heard by the Prince William County School Board Disciplinary Committee on Wednesday.

Correction:  The incident took place at Sinclair Elementary School.



66 Thoughts to “SJHS Students to Appeal Expulsion Decision”

  1. Rick, up until comment #50, you have made some very astute comments.

    My continual fight was always with black kids trying to tell me that it was ok for THEM to say the N word because they were black. No it isn’t.

    If a word is rude, it is rude, regardless of who says it. If young people, especially young black kids treat that kind of speech as rude, and stop saying it, then stupid white people won’t think it is ok for them to do it also. Same with the S word. Same reasoning.

    No, you can’t say it because you are Hispanic. It is rude.

    White kids think they have the go ahead.

    There is language that should not be used in public. We cannot have different standards for different people. Let’s take a ‘white’ word, like ‘Pollock.’ No, it isn’t ok if you are Polish, at least not in public. At a family at home party, who knows and who cares.

    This seems like a simple concept to me. Why don’t the various ethnicities learn and just set a good example. Problem gone.

  2. Guest 101

    I’m am glad to hear they all got a second chance. I noticed one child had on their facebook status “I get to come back to school I’m so grateful”. I think they all realized what they did was wrong. Well lets just hope for the best!

  3. Rick Bentley

    Like other words that offend people, it all depends on context. There are times and places it’s okay to say. And times it isn’t. And if said in the wrong place, a word could get you suspended from school, in trouble at a job, or beaten up.

    “Why don’t the various ethnicities learn and just set a good example. Problem gone.”

    ??? Not really! But I would think use of the word will mitigate over time.

    The bigger problem is collectively dealing with racism, racial prejudice, miscommunication, and racial anger. Not words. It’s like pretending sexism has much to do with men ever use the c-word when angry. If you stamp out the c word it’s not really much of an acheivement.

  4. Rick Bentley

    Well here’s hoping those kids straighten out. And not grow up into someone like the imbecile who was spray-painting houses and garages last Fall.

  5. Rick, part of me mentally was agreeing with you and then when we got down to women, I started disagreeing, but thinkinkg good of him to recognize it.

    I think most people are paranoid over racial words like the N word that it would irradicate itself if EVERYone stopped using it. Not saying I KNOW I am right but I think I am right. I have heard it used as an ‘in crowd’ word enough to make me think that.

    There is actually pretty severe peer pressure not to say it.

    Yes, the underlying racism, prejudice, miscommunication and racial anger would still be there, but I don’t think these kids were necessarily racially angry. I think they might have just been being jerks.

    As for the C word, I think that one is trotted out as the big N word for women. I always call it ‘that word that contributes to my own oppression.’

    Sexism and racism are just different. Discussion of such would probably make a good topic for a slow day. Stamping out the C word would, in effect, do nothing.

    I hope that the kids learn something also. I still think there are a few variables to think about. What if they had been at Lowes and had tampered with sod. What if they had spelled out kkk and a swastika at Lowes?

    What if they had been at Sinclair and had spelled out ‘I heart education.’

  6. Expulsion is very much a part of one’s permanent record. I am sorry that 6 kids will be losing this much education. I am confused over how many were actually involved and why 2 didn’t appeal the expulsion. Do their parents just not give a crap? If that is the case, how sad. Those are the very kids who need to be in school.

    I think PWCS has a very bad track record for taking high profile cases and trying to make examples out of kids. Meanwhile, most of the time they cannot control what goes on behind their own closed doors.

    I could go into any school in the county and hear far worse than this the first 15 minutes in the building. The adults are aware. They do nothing because it falls on deaf ears. They are not supported by administration at any level.

    When PWCS apply the same standards inside their walls as they do when the eye of the public is on them, perhaps things will change.

  7. The Code of Behavior for Prince William County Public Schools states that:

    “All persons and groups within the school are to be treated with dignity and respect. Discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disabilities, economic status, personal and physical characteristics, or other characteristics of individuals or groups will not be tolerated. Actions, gestures, statements (spoken or written), dress, or symbols which insult, offend, taunt, or demean others because of their individual or group differences may result in corrective action up to and including expulsion.”

    This is all well and good. The code needs to spell out sexual orientation.

    I still have some problems with this expulsion. I don’t think the code of behavior covers it.

  8. Guest 101

    I agree. The good thing is the kids are going back to school. I have read other blogs about this and it amazes me how we as adults give up so quickly on children. I remember doing quite a few things when I was younger and thank god my parent gave me second chances. These kids are young and will learn from this. The way adults are talking about these KIDS is ridiculous. The parents are not to blame for this. I am a relative of one of the kids and I know for a fact he didn’t learn this from home. This is a mistake he made and will pay for probably for the rest of his life. How can we as adults just give up on these children. I have noticed from blogs that adults are no better than these kids. I have never seen such vulgar and hatred then what I have been seeing and this is from adults. People make mistakes and learn from them.

  9. Guest 101

    I’m not just referring to this blog.

  10. The newspaper blog is especially virulent towards these kids.

  11. KC

    If they like laying sod so much, have them do community service by re-landscaping playgrounds, school-grounds, etc. in under-privileged areas.

    In all seriousness, the crime was committed before school was in session. They need to be consequenced, yes, but not allowing these kids to be educated is not going to help anyone. I realize that their previous educational experiences have not resulted in them being well-adjusted; approached and handled properly, this could be an opportunity to rectify the situation.

  12. Guest 101

    Yes it is. I just think as adults it’s our responsibilty to set an example and by those blogs they are showing nothing but hatred. It’s just sad because these are kids they are speaking about and not bad kids at that. I hope people start easing up on them so they move on with their life. I’m sure it would really hurt them if they read some of this stuff people have been writing. I believe in second chances and I believe these boys will prove that they appreciate the second chance as well.

  13. Lafayette

    The adults ALL need to remember they were once kids too. These boys have been given a second chance which I hope they all take full advantage of the second chance. I know my daughter was in total disbelief when she saw the comments on the paper. I will continue to encourage one of these boys to do the right thing.

    I don’t like people putting on the blame on the parents. These boys are of an age that they knew right from wrong that night, and they chose wrong. I’ve known one of the boys family over 30 years, and this “hate” was NOT learned at home. People need to remember kids have all kinds of influences in their lives. I know where I learned the most “bad” stuff was right at school. Everyone needs to remember these boys are kids, and do stupid things. It is time to move on wish them well and hope they’ve learned a very valuble lesson.

  14. Very well put, Lafayette. I totally agree.

    It is all too easy to blame the parents. I know in my case, some of the things I did would have mortified my parents and I knew better.

    This sounds like at least 1 mighty responsible parent in this news article. He had his son up there laying sod the right way.

    All are Stonewall Jackson High School students.

    Hawkins then got a call from the father of one of the boys involved. The man wanted his son to help lay sod as a punishment. The man had worked for Hawkins’ father many years ago and felt comfortable
    that his son would learn his lesson through a little manual labor.

    According to Hawkins, the teen and his friend laid sod until 6 or 7 that evening and he thought the issue was over. Hawkins said that if his had father caught him screwing up as a kid, he would have done
    the same thing.

  15. Guest 101

    I agree. I know for a fact one of the other boys didn’t learn this at home either. The things I did I learn at school also. I think that they should all go do community service for this man. I have never said what they did was not wrong but in the blogs I have read one ADULT said the kids should be sent to school for the other children to beat them down. To me nobody deserves that and as a parent they wouldn’t want that to happen to their kids. We would all like to believe our children wouldn’t do this kind of thing but believe me and can happen to anyone. I know my family didn’t think someone in our family would have done this but they did and the child has taken full responsibility of his actions. I don’t think there is a day that he doesn’t hear about it.

  16. Lafayette


    From the original post. Well it looks like my comment’s point was proven. Good for the dad of this young man!!

    Chris August 25th, 2009 at 21:17 | #44 Reply | Quote Excellent point, Moon. I don’t feel anyone on this board has excused this behavior/incident. Who knows maybe one(or all) of the parents sent their kids over to the school to assist in the “clean up”. I’m not saying it happened, but it could have. Just a little food for thought

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