'Drawing was the last straw'
EAGLE POINT — The parents of a child reportedly threatened by a classmate's drawing of a stick figure shooting another with a gun say the sketch was latest example of the boy's bad behavior.
The parents of the Little Butte School first-grader spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared a backlash against their daughter.
"Not a day went by where my daughter didn't come home saying that Ryan had hit or kicked her," the father said.
Little Butte School officials sent 6-year-old Ryan Weathers home after receiving complaints from parents saying he threatened their children.
Douglas Weathers, Ryan's father, claims his son is not violent and the school overreacted to his son's imitating something he saw on "The Simpsons" cartoon.
Weathers said his son got the idea for the violent sketch after watching a character display a similar drawing on a recent episode.
The complaining parents say the drawing is not the primary issue.
"This is not an isolated incident," the father said. "My daughter asked her teacher if she could be moved away from Ryan because he constantly hits and kicks her."
School district officials declined to comment. State law bars them from discussing disciplinary actions against specific students.
The girl's mother said she has called the school to voice her concern over Ryan's actions toward her daughter.
"This drawing was the last straw," she said. "I fully support the school's decision to suspend the child."
The girl was disturbed by the picture, her father said.
"She came home that day and told us Ryan had drew a picture of me being shot in the head and it scared her," he said.
Weathers claims he was not aware that parents had called to schools with concerns about his son's behavior.
"This is new to me," Weathers said. "If they had a problem, why wasn't I contacted before now. It seems that they jumped to the conclusion of suspending my son."
Weathers said he expects the school to issue his family an apology and to lift Ryan's suspension.
"I don't want this to scar his record," Weathers said.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.