A Racine, Wisconsin school is disputing a story that they suspended a student for selling sex toys, instead stating the students sexualized the water snake wigglies.
On Tuesday, our Scripps sister station in Milwaukee TMJ4 broke the story of the student being suspended, with the family claiming the principal mistook the water snakes for sex toys.
In a statement, the school said the student was selling the water snakes out of her locker and students, “sexualized the use of these toys which was disruption to learning that could not be ignored.”
However, the suspended student's family said the school principal pulled the student from a basketball game to tell her she had been suspended for three days for selling sex toys.
The father plans to wait outside Trinity church services Wednesday night 6 p.m. to pass out slips including a link to his blog website titled 'Vindicate Frances." He vowed to continue fighting the school to have her suspension rescinded and "clear her name."
The full statement from Trinity Lutheran School is here:
The story regarding a student at Trinity has been circulated broadly in commercial and social media. While it is not our practice to share information about an incident that involves our students, all of whom are minors, the dissemination of the account warrants a more detailed reply.
Several primary assertions against the school are inaccurate. It was asserted that a student was suspended for specifically selling something alleged to be a sex toy. The alleged characterization of the toy was not the motivation of a disciplinary action taken by the school. We have never asserted that a ‘water snake’ toy is a sex toy.
The student was selling toys out of her locker to numerous fellow students. When the presence of these toys became known to the faculty a letter was sent (in January) to all of the parents of this specific classroom clearly stating that the students were told that no permission was given for toys to be in school under any circumstances.
Sale of the toys continued. Eventually, the toys were in the hands of a significant number of students. According to one of the teachers, many of the students sexualized the use of these toys which was disruption to learning that could not be ignored. Several parents had also complained to the administration about sexual overtones associated with these toys, based on what students were reporting at home, and they expected action to be taken. Selling toys, after clear communication prohibiting the presence of toys in school, and the disruption it generated in the school lead to the suspension.
It was asserted that the student was suspended for three days. That is simply false. The student served a one day only suspension. Since then, the parents of the child have decided to continue to allow their daughter to be successfully enrolled at Trinity.
The parents demanded that the situation be further adjudicated. We honored that request and the parents were invited to present their position to the Board of Education. The Board reviewed the assertions of the parents, other sources of evidence that were causes of great concern, and communication from faculty, staff, and other school parents. The Board determined that the persistent sale of toys, in violation of clearly stated instructions, and in light of the educational disruption, warranted the disciplinary action. The Board considers that matter addressed and resolved.
We continue to maintain the perspective that the privacy of our students is of paramount importance. While we cannot control the actions of others, we will continue to provide that approach on behalf of everyone associated with our community.