Boy carries sign after swearing at teacher
OAKLAND PARK, Fla. (WHDH) -- A South Florida sixth grader is learning a very public lesson in respect.
Twelve-year-old Erol Faustin has been suspended for three days from James S. Rickards Middle School after he used profanity when his teacher asked him to remove his book bag. "He told her he doesn't give an 'f,' 'b,'" revealed Lisette Lopez, the boy's mother. "Those words are not acceptable in my house," she added.
As punishment for his actions, Lopez forced her son to carry a sign in front of the entire school.
The large sign, which Lopez wrote, reads in part: "I disrespected my teacher. I would like to apologize not only to that teacher but to all adults."
Faustin, dressed in a black suit and tie, held the sign in front of him as tears rolled down his cheeks. When asked by 7News whether he thinks he did the wrong thing, he just replied "Yes."
Lopez, who accuses Faustin of acting like "more of a class clown" during the current school year, insisted that she has tried having long talks with Faustin, and has even taken him to counseling, all to no avail. "He's had support from the after school community," she said. The sign, she insisted, is being used as a last resort and not to humiliate him in front of his peers.
"This isn't for a punishment," said Lopez. "It's for him to understand that I've tried everything I could and if this is what it takes, then this is what it takes."
Lopez said that Faustin's father has a criminal record, and she does not want her son to go down the same path.
She added that as an older sibling, Faustin has a responsibility to refrain from immature acts. "He has a younger sister and brother who look up to him. He needs to be a role model," she said.
For each of the three days he has been suspended, Faustin will stand with the sign during morning hours and again at dismissal.
His classmates appear to concur with Lopez's actions.
"I completely agree with what's going on," a male student said. "If your son is disrespecting a teacher, the only way he's going to learn is have him do something he won't forget," he added.