Could a magic ring cause so much trouble for a boy?

This story has been circulating for a few days. I held off because I was waiting for more details. None seem to be forthcoming. People are reacting to it but we really do not know both sides of the story.

Texas boy suspended after bringing ‘ring of power’ to school – NY Daily News.

Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after he brought his “one ring” to school.

Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, in a playful act of make-believe, told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring forged in fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom.

“It sounded unbelievable,” the boy’s father, Jason Steward, told the Daily News. He insists his son “didn’t mean anything by it.”

The father insists that the boy was just being imaginative after seeing the latest Hobbit movie in the theaters – a reasonable explanation. But questions remain about what really happened since we only have the father’s story. The school will not comment, citing student confidentiality.

Schools’ zero tolerance policies seem to go to extremes in some cases with rumors of kids just expressing themselves in art work as grounds for discipline. That’s not right but we almost always just hear the defending side’s story. But there is a clue in this article that is concerning:

The family moved to the Kermit Independent School District only six months ago, but it’s been nothing but headaches for Aiden. He’s already been suspended three times this school year.

Something is up. The school does not seem to be the right fit for this boy. Why? We can’t be sure but three suspensions at least means that the school culture is a clash for this kid. Is the boy causing real trouble, is he stressed by this new environment and acting out, or is the school too restrictive? We really can’t tell.

If anyone has more insight on this story, I’m curious to hear it.

If you are not familiar with the Tolkien tale, I’d recommend The Hobbit. The book.

  13 comments for “Could a magic ring cause so much trouble for a boy?

  1. Richard
    February 3, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    There are school systems in the South including Texas that have banned the “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” books or where some fundamentalist Christians have sought school systems & public libraries to ban the books citing “Satanism” and “witchcraft” — one wonders if that could be a factor here?

  2. AlanB
    February 3, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    I had to double check to make sure I had not got on to The Onion by mistake. So you can pretend a stick is a gun or a spear, just not a magic wand.

  3. MikeXeno
    February 3, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    As our host points out, we don’t know both sides. But it strikes me that, even though the Ring of Power is a fictional item, it’s still entirely possible for a gullible nine-year-old to be bullied by someone who PRETENDS to have something like that. Intimidation and threats can still be very real, even when the “weapon” used to do it is not. Lots of people have robbed banks with plastic toy guns.

    Of course, it’s possible that the school is overreacting, as schools will do sometimes. But this is a child with three suspensions in one year, so odds are SOMETHING is going on besides just playful make-believe. I do hope his parents and school counselors can work together to solve these problems.

  4. Blargh
    February 3, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Is the boy causing real trouble, is he stressed by this new environment and acting out, or is the school too restrictive? We really can’t tell.

    I disagree completely. We can tell, and easily so! He was suspended for bringing “The Big Book of Knowledge” to school – because “the popular children’s encyclopedia had a section on pregnancy, depicting a pregnant woman in an illustration”.
    From that I can only assume that they require their students to literally believe in the stork.

  5. February 3, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    For those that may not get that you are joking (I hope), again, that’s just what the parent said. And typically such books depicting nudity (however biologically accurate) are frowned upon. I’m not saying I agree, I’m just saying that there is more to this than what we are getting from the media via the parent.

  6. Richard
    February 3, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    This just popped up on AlterNet.org — I’m not certain if it’s the full story, but it does offer a little more information …

    http://www.alternet.org/education/texas-school-says-9-year-olds-belief-magic-powers-terrorist-threat

    If it is complete & factual, it would indicate the school system was over-reacting, and my speculation that there could be fear of the occult may be playing on the administration’s mind.

  7. spookyparadigm
    February 3, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    In all of the “outrage at schools” stories I’ve seen over the years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one where a school uses the “privacy” line and doesn’t end up looking bad when the facts come out (I may well be forgetting one). There may be something else to this story that makes the parent’s account look inaccurate, but in other cases where the accusations have fallen apart, the school usually seems to find a way to make it clear the accusations were problematic.

    That they’re refusing comment, with no discussion of any investigation, after every media organization in the world has pummeled them for days, I do think speaks volumes.

  8. Rook
    February 3, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    Seems kind of ironic that the school itself is named after a fictional tv frog. (Unless there is another Kermit I’m not aware of?) Cute muppets good, Tolkien characters bad!

  9. busterggi
    February 3, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    Aiden is soooooooo precious!

  10. David H
    February 4, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    How about one of these Kermits?

    Kermit Roosevelt, son of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
    Kermit Ruffins, jazz trumpeter
    Kermit Maynard, actor and stuntman
    Kermit Cintron, boxer
    Kermit Alan Washington, basketball player
    Kermit Ernest Hollingshead Love, Muppet puppeteer
    Kermit Weeks, aviator
    Kermit Murdock, film, television and radio actor

    It is a popular name in Kermit, Texas:
    Kermit Independent School District
    Kermit Elementary (grades K–5)
    Kermit Junior High (grades 6–8)
    Kermit High School (grades 9–12)

    The whole shebang was named for Kermit Roosevelt, who went antelope hunting at a nearby ranch just before the locals decided to name their new town.
    I think the locals blew it back when they founded the place. Kermit is the county seat of Winkler County.
    Too bad they didn’t make it Kermit County.

  11. Bane
    February 4, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    Do they have a “Bert & Ernie” lecture theatre too? I’m guessing not…

  12. Karl
    February 4, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Yeah, there are two sides to a story. Remember that teacher that was accused of telling a kid god was not real? It would seem there was more to that story.

    Maybe the kid was a bully and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  13. MikeXeno
    February 4, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    Citing privacy is the one thing I can point to that the school is definitely doing right in this situation. It would be grossly inappropriate for them to talk to the press about a specific child’s discipline issues.

Comments are closed.