High school student Kobe Nelson was recently suspended for two days after instigating a fight with another student. Okay, cool, fair enough, right? It's understandable that the administration would take action when it comes to disciplining a combative student. The only problem? Kobe didn't start the fight. In fact, a cellphone video shot of the whole encounter brought to light by Kobe's dad shows Kobe doing everything he can to get out of the situation without contributing to the violence.
It's one of the few occasions I can think of where any parent finds themselves thinking, Thank god for cellphones. The proof of his son's total lack of involvement combined with talks he had confirming what he'd already seen was all Kobe's dad needed to hear. He went after not just the bully, but the entire school with a total vengeance.
I know after watching the video (posted to YouTube after the fact) immediately had me on Team Kobe. Why on earth would the sheriff on school grounds spout such a different version of the facts?
Kobe's dad, Tommy Purvis, went after the principal who suspended his son without, he believes, having all the facts. He also drew attention to the aforementioned sheriff who apparently "mocked" Kobe for being too skinny. Purvis ripped into the school for suspending Kobe in light of all the proof that he wasn't the instigator. There's also significant history here: The kid responsible for Kobe's suspension used to regularly bully and beat him up at their middle school.
Purvis made enough of a ruckus that the school is "re-evaluating" its decision. That's great, but you kind of have to wonder about the long-term impact of Purvis' actions on his son. While I admire him for being such a staunch advocate for his son, he doesn't have to go back to school: Kobe does. Whatever his motivations, this might only anger the bully further and lead to more rough encounters that put Kobe in harm's way. Plus, I can't imagine the school is too psyched to have their name tarnished. In playing hard-ball this way, Purvis could have made more enemies for his son than he realized.
Do you think Kobe's dad went too far?
Image via richard_north/Flickr