A 14-year-old Maryland student walked to and from school for three days in below-freezing temperatures after his parents failed to be informed he was suspended from the school bus.
Now his outraged father is demanding answers.
Rasheem Tazewell told WDMV his son, Tymier Tazewell, was banned from riding the bus to his school in Hagerstown, Maryland, following an altercation with another student at E. Russell Hicks Middle School on Jan. 28, an incident in which Tymier says he defended his sister against bullies on the bus. Tymier was called into the principal’s office and told he had referrals prohibiting him from riding the school bus from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.
“I looked at my sister and she was crying, so I just like asked them, ‘What did they do, what did they say to you?’ and she was saying like [they said] ‘mean stuff, like, I don’t want to be called that,'” Tymier recalls to the news station Feb. 4.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Tazewell said his children hid the incident from him and the school did not follow up on its official suspension policy. Typically, a meeting with parents would be scheduled and paperwork would be signed.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, the school called Tazewell to report Tymier didn’t show up for morning classes.
“I thought he was cutting class, but when I called back to get more information, I was told he arrived,” Tazewell said. “The school had a late start that day, so it made sense he was late.”
That day Tymier’s mother, who does not live with Rasheem, wound up calling Tymier’s father when she discovered their son wasn’t riding the bus.
It took until Friday, Feb. 1, for Tymier’s father to drive up the school regarding the boy’s three-day suspension, during which time the student had been trekking about 40 minutes to school in 4 degree weather. Sometimes, Tymier would be joined by friends as he cut through the woods to gt to school. They’d also stop inside the local CVS to warm up.
Tazewell told Yahoo Lifestyle the assistant principal pointed to an inability to get in touch with Tymier’s mother and not having a current phone number for Tazewell as an excuse for the delay in notifying the student’s father.
“As I’m telling the vice principal [about the incident] she’s all sincere about it and everything,” Tazewell explained to WDMV. “My son ended up walking home again Friday afternoon in the snow.”
Tazewell and his son’s mother met with the principal of E. Russell Hicks on Monday, but they feel the issue is being brushed off with no resolution.
Washington County Public Schools released a statement saying it is “currently looking into this incident and it would be premature to provide a response at this time.”
“He needs to be spoken for and he needs justice for what happened to him because anything could happen to him in their care,” Tazewell said to the news station.