Ohio high school football player suspended for poem about team

Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM
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RITTMAN, Ohio, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- An Ohio prep football player has been suspended after writing a poem in English class about his school's losing football team, school officials said.

Nick Andre, 16, a junior defensive end on the Rittman High School football team, was in English class Friday afternoon where his assignment was to write a poem about something that upset him. He picked the Rittman Indians' football team, which has a record of 1-7 this season, as the subject of his ire, WJW-TV, Cleveland reported Tuesday.

As part of the assignment, he read the poem, titled "Stupid," aloud in class.

Andre was suspended from school Monday for four days and removed from the football team for its final two games this season after school officials deemed the poem offensive to the team's coach and classified it as an act of "bullying/hazing" against another player.

Andre said he was only following directions, adding, "I felt like it was my right to express what I just felt."

Andre's mother, Julie, said her son was treated unfairly.

"All he could refer to was bullying," she said of a meeting with the school's principal. "This poem was bullying, and my comment was, 'why would the teacher entertain this assignment because you know, you don't know what you may get from teenage kids, so to me, I couldn't understand bullying."

The school district declined to comment, the TV station said.

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