Odd News

7th grader’s pencil twirling leads to suspension and psychological evaluation when called ‘gun motions’ [UPDATED]

Glen Meadow Middle School seventh grader, Ethan Chaplin, was recently suspended after, he says, he was simply twirling a pencil in math class. News 12 New Jersey reported that the Vernon Township, New Jersey teenager was twirling a pencil with a pen cap on top when another student yelled, “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.” But Ethan denies that interpretation of his actions and said that the student who yelled the comment had been bullying him earlier that day and was just trying to get him in trouble.

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Ethan was twirling a pencil with a pen cap on top. (News 12 New Jersey)

Although Ethan explained the bullying situation, he says that administrators ignored his side of the story. The teen was taken to the principal’s office and News 12 notes that, “he was suspended, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation.”

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Ethan Chaplin (News 12 New Jersey)

Ethan recounted, “I was shocked because I’m like, how am I not going to come back to school? I didn’t even do anything.” His father, Michael Chaplin agrees saying, "I’m livid. I'm absolutely livid. I think it's gross misconduct at its finest. They took something so minimal and took it so far over the edge."

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Michael Chaplin (News 12 New Jersey)

The Vernon Schools Superintendent, Charles Maranzano, stands by the principal and says she was just doing her job. Their school policy as well as the law requires that administration investigate any situation when a student feels uncomfortable or threatened by another student. Maranzano added, "We never know what's percolating in the mind of children, okay. And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

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Charles Maranzano (News 12 New Jersey)

Infowars spoke to Mr. Chaplin, who explained the five-hour long physical and psychological evaluation that his son endured, possibly for naught. Chaplin told the outlet, “The child was stripped, had to give blood samples (which caused him to pass out) and urine samples for of all things drug testing…Then four hours later a social worker spoke to him for five minutes and cleared him. Then an actual doctor came in and said the state was 100 percent incorrect in their procedure and this would not get him back in school.”

Chaplin said a meeting is scheduled for today to discuss when his son may return to school.

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Michael Chaplin says his son had a 5-hour physical and psychological evaluation. (News 12 New Jersey)

UPDATE April 8, 2014 9:52 AM PDT:

On Monday, Ethan Chaplin returned to school after missing two days. WPIX 11 reports that the Vernon Township School District leadership has stated that Ethan Chaplin was never removed from school. Superintendent Charles Maranzano told the station, “I don’t think any district in New Jersey or America would ever suspend a student for twirling a pencil. That’s ludicrous.” Still, Ethan’s father, Michael Chaplin, is considering pulling his son from the school because of the way the case was handled by the district.

Videos and more info: WPIX, News 12 New Jersey, Infowars
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