Teen Doodles Hangman Game Drawing, School Suspends Him And Hands Him Over To The Police

When a 13-year-old teen name Robert Bernard Keller created a hangman doodle, school officials considered it a serious threat and responded by suspending him and sending him off to the police.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, when a video showed a teacher wrestling with an autistic child for over an hour, school officials responded by suspending the teacher and demanding that she be fired. But the school board turned this decision over and even claimed the teacher was doing a good job.

The incident took place on May 2, 2013 and now the father is suing on behalf of his son, claiming that his son “was interviewed at his school, Raleigh Hills, K-8, by officers of the Beaverton Police Department regarding an alleged threat of harm based on a doodle that was drawn during class. B.R.K. was removed from his classroom and placed in the principal’s office of Raleigh Hills K-8 to be questioned about offenses that he was alleged to have committed. At no time did the officers or school obtain a warrant, contact the minor child’s parents to obtain parental consent, provide a counselor or attorney to the minor child or advise B.R.K. of his right against self-incrimination or provide an advocate who could explain.”

The odd part about the case was that the parents were called in for an Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting where they were told their son was “doing fine.” By the end of the meeting this statement was changed to a suspension pending a risk assessment. In response, the parents told the school that their son “was not to be interviewed alone without a parent present.” But the school did it anyway, first sending in a school psychologist, and then by a police officer who was called without the parents being notified.

The lawsuit is seeking $100,000 in damages for “violations of the Fourth and 14th Amendments, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and failure to train and supervise”:

“At no time before or during the interview were the parents notified by Raleigh Hills or the Beaverton Police. Only after the fact did the parents learn of the police interrogation. No criminal charge was filed nor was a petition filed with the department of human services. As a direct and foreseeable result of the events that transpired during this incident, B.R.K. has suffered emotional damages.”

The nature of the alleged threat being made by Robert Bernard Keller with the hangman doodle has not been specified in any reports. While it’s possible the “threat” was contained in the hidden word revealed during the hangman game, it’s possible that school officials felt the hangman drawing itself was threatening.

[Image via Vladimir Lestrovoy]

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