Scientology Crime Syndicate


Student's penalty has mom at school

EDUCATION: Mother forced to attend class with her son after a teacher finds his drawing threatening.

October 24, 2000
The Orange County Register

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO -- It is punishment that could have been dreamed up by Dr. Evil himself.

An eighth-grader at Marco Forster Middle School was forced to bring his mother to classes Monday after a teacher felt threatened by a picture he drew in which he quoted a character from the film "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

Michael Lee said he was trying to be funny when he drew a person with an arrow through his head accompanied by the words "Why don't you just die?"

In the movie, that line is delivered by Mike Myers, who plays international spy Powers and his nemesis, Dr. Evil.

Powers is battling an assassin when he utters the line.

The situation was not funny to Mary Lee, Michael's mother, who was told by Principal Jim Sieger that she had to attend classes or her son would not be re-admitted to the school.

"It's a case of overreaction," said Mary Lee, a single mother who followed her embarrassed son to his first three classes before going back to work."Michael is no way a threat to anybody. They forced me to miss a half day of work, for what?"

Sieger would not comment on the incident. He said Lee has had several incidents that have resulted in disciplinary action, and that the "parental escort" is merely a nontraditional disciplinary tactic.

Sieger said the school uses parental escorts for various offenses about 10 to 15 times per year.

"It's pretty effective," Sieger said. "Adolescents don't like to be connected to their parents at this age. The message has to be sent. You have to follow the rules."

Mary Lee said her son doesn't have a lot of friends at the school, and he is trying to be funny to gain acceptance. "He is trying to be the class cut-up to be more popular," she said.

Sieger said students receive warnings, calls to their parents, detention and suspension before they are assigned a parental escort.

"It's what happens when other interventions haven't worked," Sieger said.

Mary Lee said she attended her son's first three classes Monday. She sat in the back of each class and followed the teacher's lesson in a textbook.

Michael said he avoided some embarrassment by not telling his classmates that Mary was his mom. He asked her to say that she was just a person observing classes.

"I haven't done anything bad," Michael said.


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