EXCLUSIVE: Zero tolerance policy gets concussed student suspended

- A mother pulled her 12-year-old son out of a local school after she said he was suspended for pushing a bully in self-defense after reportedly being punched more than a dozen times. 

FOX 46 learned about this story from a concerned parent who wrote in her email, "can you please make others aware that may have also endured the same injustice at this school?"

Around 600 kids attend Invest Collegiate Charter School where the alleged bullying took place. 

The child FOX 46 spoke with said no teachers were around at the time it happened, but said he was taken out of school for defending himself. 

Jaden Malone, 12, loves baseball but said he is not allowed to play for several weeks because of what doctors are calling a concussion. He was also suspended from Invest Collegiate Charter School for three days. He said it's all because he was just trying to defend himself. 

"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 said a friend of his was pushed on the ground by another student. He said he went to help his friend up, but was punched repeatedly by the student who allegedly threw his friend down. 

Jaden said he pushed his attacker away, a push that's now caused him to be suspended. 

"He couldn't walk away, he couldn't get out of it because the boy had hit him so many times," Jaden's mother said to FOX 46. 

Jaden's mother is upset with the Charter School's policy. The school's director said there's a 'zero tolerance' with fighting - even if it's as simple as pushing someone off in self-defense. It's a stance that's left some parents at the school shaking their heads. 

"School policies are school policies, North Carolina policies are zero tolerance. I hate it for the child but it is what it is."

After hearing from the school's director, FOX 46 reviewed Collegiate Charter's policy. It turns out there's an option of in-school suspension for fighting, but Jaden was given three days out of school, and now his mother said he is not going back there. 

She said 'zero tolerance' should be looked at a bit closer when self-defense is on the line. 

"It sounds real good on paper, but I think it should be per child, per situation, per basis," Jaden's mother said. 

The child who supposedly started the fight was given five days suspension. The school told FOX 46 it does not have video cameras inside that could have potentially captured this fight. 


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