Washington parent says song lyrics, mistaken for threat, led to son’s “harsh” school punishment

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WASHINGTON, Ill. – Brandon Porter is standing up for his child, who he says was suspended from school over a misunderstanding.

Porter’s son, a freshman student at Washington Community High School, was suspended for allegedly making a threat on school grounds. However, he may have been reciting song lyrics.

Last week, Porter says another student overheard his son reciting the lyrics to ‘Draco’ by popular rap artist, Future. At one point, the song references a draco, a type of gun, and a book bag. School officials and authorities notified Porter and his fiancee’ their son was reported for making a threat.

“He didn’t come out and just say, ‘Hey I’m going to do this to this person or do this here at this place.’ You know what I mean?” said Porter. “He was singing lyrics.”

After speaking with the local authorities, Porter says police turned the case over to school officials without any charges.

According to Porter, his son received three out-of-school suspensions and three in-school suspensions for the incident. He also cannot attend extracurricular activities, such as dances, athletic events or school functions, for the remainder of the school year.

Porter believes the punishment is too harsh.

“I appreciate your protocol and policies, and I’m all up for my son being in a safe school and environment,” said Porter. “But at some point I think you’re taking it too far.”

Washington Community High School cannot legally comment on student matters, and therefore cannot speak to the incident or the nature of the discipline. However, according the school’s student handbook, any student assigned two or more out-of-school suspensions may receive social probation for the remainder of the school year.

As his son serves the rest of his suspension, Porter wants the school to lift the probation and allow his son to enjoy his Freshman year. He also wants the district to take the ‘threat’ off his child’s school record.

Porter requested a hearing with the district to address the matter.

“We probably would not have taken it to these measures if it wasn’t taking from his Freshman year and experience,” said Porter. “He’s not a bad kid. He’s a good boy.”

“The punishment has been served. He spent his time at home with his parents. We’ve talked to him. We’ve coached him. We’ve counseled,” he said. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

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