A New Jersey high school student was suspended and ordered to undergo a psychological exam over a class project that advocated against gun control, according to a report.
Frank Harvey, 17, refused to see the psychiatrist and dropped out of Manville High School Tuesday, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Thursday. Harvey said his teacher now denies assigning him the video project.
“She said my project would be perfectly fine,” Harvey told the paper. “I presented the video to the class and took a few questions from my classmates. My presentation went over well. The whole idea of the assignment was to expose students to an idea they hadn't considered before.”
The senior thinks the suspension was politically motivated.
“What the response of the school tells me is that I'm allowed to do my school work as long as it agrees with their point of view on an issue,” he told the paper.
District superintendent Anne Facendo said Harvey and his mother are lying but she said she can’t say more because of federal and state student privacy laws.
“Under their version of events, the student was given a disciplinary suspension for merely completing a school project assigned by his teacher that expressed an unpopular viewpoint, then was required to disenroll from the district,” Facendo said, according to the paper. “These claims are false, and we are confident that the evidence will support the district's position.”
Harvey told the Star-Ledger the video, which was finished in April for a junior-year college prep course, provided examples of homeowners who used guns to defend themselves against intruders. The video also shows political cartoons poking fun at gun control advocates.
The teen’s troubles started Monday when someone found the video on a computer thumb drive that he left behind in the school library.
Administrators called police who interviewed Harvey, the paper reported.
He then dropped out and then the next day he said a county child services worker visited his home sent there by the school.
Harvey and his mother are now considering a lawsuit, according to the Star-Ledger.