Nine-Year-Old Suspended For “Kick Me” Post-It

It’s another example of a zero tolerance policy taken to extremes.

A nine-year-old boy  at PS 158, in New York City’s Upper East Side, was spotted sticking a yellow post-it note that read “Kick Me” on the back of a fellow fourth grader one day last week.

He was promptly suspended.

Post-It = Infraction 37, Engaging In Bullying Behavior

According to the New York Post,

PS 158 Principal Darryl Alhadeff said the youngster’s prank was “in violation of the Discipline Code and is classified as ‘infraction A37′ — engaging in bullying behavior — and will result in a Principal’s Suspension for a period of two days.”

NYC School Chancellor Defended The Decision

New York Schools Chancellor Cathie Black defended both Alhadeff and the city’s zero tolerance approach to bullying.

“We have very clear guidelines. We need to respect our children. We cannot in any way condone bullying. So we have to take a very firm approach to it.
“It’s . . . about bringing people together,” she added.

Bullying Is A Huge Issue

Care2 has followed the tragic cases of several young people who have committed suicide over the past year, due to bullying and cyberbullying.

The issue of bullying is huge in our schools, and needs to be addressed firmly.

But This Is Taking Zero Tolerance Too Far

However, schools need to make a distinction between aggressive, often violent behavior, and a fourth-grade prank.

What do you think? Did Principal Alhadeff and Chancellor Black act correctly?

Related Stories:

The Real Mean Girls: 15-Year-Old Commits Suicide After Intense Bullying

Death By Bullying; Another Teenage Suicide

Photo Credit: pasukaru 76 via Creative Commons


Goddess Mary Oliveau
Past Member 4 years ago

With a 9 year old.... there are better ways for this to have been handled.

Ponder/Meditate/Pray for Peace.

Mary Oliveau { hugs }

Ruth R.
Ruth R4 years ago

Wow! This realy showed me that i am taking some things to serious. It is time to enjoy life in a whole and beautiful way -- take more walks,have more laughs from good stories, get my sence of humor, have some light-hearted fun times -- enjoying hobbies or activities -- for all ages outdoors and indoors -- like -- have a hang out at the park, throw the frisby, play pingpong, play catch, go for a fun walk, watch a sunrise, fo barefoot outside or inside, wiggle your toes, play kids music, sing silly songs, read children's books, climb a safe tree, wade in a stream, draw in the sand and be like a child.
Be like a child -- yet still be responsible for who you are.

Ruth R.
Ruth R4 years ago

No suspension.
Have the 9 year old sit down some place and explain why you do not like the sticker.
What danger would the sticker have potentially done?
Maybe the 9 year old has a sence of humor?
Have we all gotten -- way to serious -- over something very serious
and now we need to get back to the steady ground.
No blame, no shame to the school, and the teachers and the children.
Let's get forward and back to enjoy life an learning and the process of learning how to learn -- being thankful for the steps along the way.
FORGIVE ME. What I wrote -- in my first comment -- is too serious a request for a 9 year old.

Ruth R.
Ruth R4 years ago

Is this too serious?
Or, is this something that would have led to the kid getting hurt?
Or a laugh?
Would it be possible to get to a place where people enjoy learning and school and making good friends and getting along with the other students and people.

Ruth R.
Ruth R4 years ago

Was suspension needed -- or some time off from school ? --1.) Would homework and school assignments done at home, along with 2) a paper written on why the sticker should not be placed on a student's back, and 3) another paper on why the student put the sticker on the other student's back, and -- possibly --4) another paper on what would be a good action to replace the -- putting the sticker on the student's back?
Would something like this work with supervision?
What were the suspended students motives? How was the suspended student hurt to the point of putting the sticker on the other student's back?

Ky Gwen
Ky Gouen4 years ago

I find that both opinions are valid (punishment or innocence).
here is may take:
The note was a harmless prank for comedic value.
But, the person who actually kicks them should be punished.

Jessica Larsen
Janne O4 years ago

More "zero tolerance" gone amok.

Sarah W.
Sarah W.4 years ago

as a student who endured bullying for many years, i have no sympathy for this :U i never did this to any of my friends because i knew it was nasty, and it may seem like a harmless prank to adults but kid's aren't as dumb as you think they are an a cute little "prank" can be an excuse to many other children to be violent. i wonder how many times that kid would have been kicked that day otherwise... :/

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

Stupidity reigns supreme.

Beth S.
Beth Saule6 years ago

Was the post-it note put on a friend or was the poster putting it on a child that gets picked on? If not a friend, suspend him.