A North Carolina mother is demanding a closer look at "zero tolerance" policies, especially with self-defense on the line, after her 12-year-old was suspended from school for pushing away a bully who was hitting him repeatedly in the head, Fox 46 reports.
Jaden Malone said no teachers were around when he was attacked in the incident that led him to be suspended from Invest Collegiate Charter School in Charlotte, N.C., for three days. Jaden says a friend was pushed to the ground by another student, and when he went to help his friend up, he ended up being attacked by the student who had allegedly thrown his friend down.
"Then he pushes me on the ground, so I get up and try to tell the teacher, and he starts punching me, punching me," Jaden explained.
Jaden pushed away the alleged bully, but it was that push that caused his suspension.
"He couldn't walk away, he couldn't get out of it because the boy had hit him so many times," Jaden's mother, Kandis Malone, told Fox 46.
According to the news station, doctors have said that Jaden is not allowed to play baseball, one of his favorite sports, for several weeks because he has a concussion.
Furious at the school's stance, Kandis Malone told Fox 46 that Jaden will not be going back to the school. Fox 46 reviewed the school policy and confirmed that there is an option for in-school suspension for fighting, even though Jaden was given three days out of school. Jaden's alleged attacker received five days of suspension.
Kandis Malone says she thinks that the zero tolerance policy should be considered more closely when self-defense is in play.
"It sounds real good on paper, but I think it should be per child, per situation, per basis," Jaden's mother said.
Read more at Fox 46.