Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Student Kicked Off Bus Over Passed Gas

Junior looks like a shifty sneak farter. But don't we all?

This whole situation stinks for Jonathan Locke Jr.

An eighth-grader at the Bill Duncan Excel Center in South Lakeland, Locke, 15, has been suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas.

"Jonathan passes gas on the bus to make the other children laugh and it is so stink [sic] that you can't breathe after he does it," the bus driver wrote on a misbehavior form.

Locke said he wasn't the culprit.

"It wasn't even me," Locke said. "It was a kid who sits in front of me."

Jerome Corbett, senior director of specialized services for the Polk County School District, said there is no specific rule that prohibits students from passing gas on the bus.

"There's a rule against disturbing the bus," Corbett said.

If the flatulence becomes excessive, then Corbett said the bus driver has the responsibility to report it to the school administrator.

Fred Murphy, assistant superintendent of support services, directed calls to Corbett but said that "if it (passing gas) caused a disruption on the bus, that would be an issue to deal with."

Trouble for Locke started Monday afternoon after school when a student sitting next to him started making noises with his mouth.

Then, students smelled a pungent aroma.

"I started laughing," Locke said. "It was a bad smell."

On Tuesday when Locke walked onto the bus, the bus driver handed him the suspension form.

Locke said he chuckled.

"I asked, 'What is this for?'"

The bus driver ordered Locke off the bus.

Locke exited the bus, then called his father for a ride home.

The last-minute notification that his son had been suspended for three days irked Locke's father, also named Jonathan.

"I had no notice about anything," Locke said. "It's costing me time (at work)."

Corbett said the district notifies parents but was unaware whether parents were notified after the misbehavior report was written.

Bill Duncan school officials directed calls to Jose Otero, director of operations for Bill Duncan. Otero did not return a phone message.

Locke was sent to Bill Duncan after he was expelled from Mulberry Middle School for fighting. Bill Duncan is a last-chance school for students. Students who are expelled from Bill Duncan are expelled from the district school system.

The elder Locke said the whole situation seemed petty.

You're not going to stop a kid from laughing if it's (about) passing gas," Locke said.


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