4-year-old boy bounces back after being expelled
CALLAHAN, Fla. – Four-year-old Will Habat is your typical boy.
"I am Optimus Prime. What's your name?" he said.
So it's no surprise Will bounced back after being expelled from the only school he's ever attended. But not without a brief moment of sadness.
"My mom cried," he said. "And I cried, too."
"I think that it affected him that day," said Ashley Habat, Will's mother. "I think they could have handled it in a much better way."
Will was expelled from Sonshine Christian Academy in Callahan over a comment his mom made on her personal Facebook page.
The post read, "Why is it that every single day there is something new I dislike about Will's School? Are my standards really too high or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant."
Habat said the school does not have an official Facebook page, but she "checked-in" privately in her post. She said the school found out about the post from someone who printed it and gave it to school officials.
In a dismissal letter, the school said Ashley Habat was "sowing discord," which violates a policy in the handbook she signed. Habat said she never intended to sow discord then, but now it's fair game.
She said when her story hit social media, hundreds of people started commenting and even sharing. She said it was unexpected, but OK with her.
"I'm not playing," Habat said. "They treated my son wrong, and they need to apologize for it."
Habat said the school participates in the state-funded Voluntary Prekindergarten program, which parents do not pay for. She said it was the only school that was available.
But a spot opened up at a new school, and Will is there now. He thinks his mom did the right thing.
"Yeah, I'm proud of you, Mom," Will said.
The school's principal gave the following statement to News4Jax regarding the incident:
"The dedicated faculty and staff of Sonshine Christian Academy work very hard on behalf of parents and students to create and maintain a healthy, positive, safe, Christ-centered learning and social environment. We are a private school with an excellent reputation developed over 28 years. Our readiness rates for kindergarten are among the highest in our region. Unlike public schools, parents of children attending our school agree in writing to abide by a Code of Conduct that includes, among other things, how we reconcile differences that may arise. We believe that the best way to resolve such differences is in a private manner.
As you might expect there is another side to the story currently being reported on. However, we are prohibited from disclosing the facts of this story due to the constraints of confidentiality laws and our own professionalism. For these reasons, we will not be able to offer further comment."
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