Hillcrest Middle Hearing Over Autistic Student's Bomb Drawing - WSPA.com

Hearing Over Autistic Student's Bomb Drawing

Posted: Updated:
An autistic student has been suspended after he brought a drawing of a bomb to Hillcrest Middle School, telling his classmates he had a bomb. An autistic student has been suspended after he brought a drawing of a bomb to Hillcrest Middle School, telling his classmates he had a bomb.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

An autistic student has been suspended after he brought a drawing of a bomb to his Upstate middle school, telling his classmates he had a bomb.

The question is: Was it a harmless doodle or a potential threat?

Spend any time with 13-year-old Rhett Parham and he's bound to show you his artwork.

He draws what he sees in his favorite video games, including Bomberman 64. It’s a Nintendo game from the '90s Rhett likes to watch on YouTube.

Rhett, who has autism, got suspended from Hillcrest Middle School in Simpsonville on Monday for telling people he had a bomb and showing them a drawing based on the video game.

“I said, 'Are you kidding me?'" said his mother Amy Parham.

Parham said her son poses no threat and is not capable of actually making a bomb.

“I don't really think he understands the brevity of this whole situation because of his disability.”

Greenville County Schools denied 7 On Your Side’s request for an on-camera interview, but sent us a statement that reads in part: “This investigation began when threatening comments were made, resulting in the responsible removal of the student from the school to ensure everyone's safety while the incident and intent were assessed.”

"Principals are in a very difficult spot with this. They have a lot of interests that they're trying to juggle," said Janet Stein, Director of the South Carolina Education Association's member advocacy program.

Stein used to do crisis prevention training for North Carolina schools.

She said Hillcrest Middle's Principal did what he had to do in order to protect the school and its students.

“If he had not done what he did and had decided that student didn't mean it, it doesn't mean anything -- if something had happened, the district would have been accountable for that," said Stein.

Parham said she's looking into whether she should transfer her son to a different school, but Rhett said he wants to stay at Hillcrest Middle.

“I like the school and it's great," said Rhett. "And I like school at Hillcrest Middle."

The school will hold what's called a "manifestation hearing" Wednesday. It will determine if Rhett's behavior was caused by his disability. If the school decides it's not related to Rhett’s disability, Stein said he can be disciplined like any other student. If that's the case, Stein said there's a legitimate possibility he could be expelled.

  • Do you think the school made the right call suspending this student?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    13%
    101 votes
    No
    87%
    690 votes
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Train Derailment Causes Ethanol Cars To Flip Over In Spartanburg

    Train Derailment Causes Ethanol Cars To Flip Over In Spartanburg

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:11:28 GMT
    Police, Fire, and Hazmat Officials in Spartanburg are at the scene of a train derailment involving cars carrying ethanol that happened near Daniel Morgan Avenue early on July 25th.
    Police, Fire, and Hazmat Officials in Spartanburg are at the scene of a train derailment involving cars carrying ethanol that happened near Daniel Morgan Avenue early on July 25th.
  • Tips For Making A Five Star Resume

    Tips For Making A Five Star Resume

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:11 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:11:41 GMT
    Forbes and ZipRecruiter recently studied over 3 million resumes, and have come up with tips on how to make sure your application is seen more often by potential employers.
    Forbes and ZipRecruiter recently studied over 3 million resumes, and have come up with tips on how to make sure your application is seen more often by potential employers.
  • New Lifesaving Tool Now in AnMed Health Helicopter

    New Lifesaving Tool Now in AnMed Health Helicopter

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:40 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:40:44 GMT
    AnMed Health's LifeFlight now carries a new cooler with lifesaving blood and plasma on every call.AnMed Health's LifeFlight now carries a new cooler with lifesaving blood and plasma on every call.
    From the battlefield to the Upstate, new lifesaving technology is going airborne. AnMed Health's LifeFlight is changing the game by bringing a new cooler with blood and plasma on every call.
    From the battlefield to the Upstate, new lifesaving technology is going airborne. AnMed Health's LifeFlight is changing the game by bringing a new cooler with blood and plasma on every call.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.