Expelled Stevenson Ranch Student Speaks Out (FULL STORY)

by Jon Gonzalez, Staff Writer 3,084 views8

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Newhall School District is not allowed to make any specific comments about the incident due to federal law. A previous version of this story did not include the Newhall School District’s full statement on the issue. The statement has been integrated into the article.

Santa Clarita — A student who was recently expelled from Stevenson Ranch Elementary School for allegedly making racist comments spoke to Cougar News, Tuesday, to give his version of the story.

Grayson Thomas, 11, said that he was kicked out of his elementary school because he told a friend that KTLA anchor Chris Schauble, whose daughter also attends Stevenson Ranch, looked like President Barack Obama.

Thomas saw Schauble when the anchor was visiting his daughter for lunch. According to Thomas, it was not soon after he made the comments that he was being called a racist by Stevenson Ranch principal Candace Fleece, who along with Newhall School District superintendent Marc Winger, made the decision to revoke Thomas’ interdistrict transfer permit.

“I went into the cafeteria and said to one of my friends, ‘That guy looks like Obama,’” Grayson Thomas said. “She thought and was saying I meant that all black people look alike.”

Grayson Thomas had been attending Stevenson Ranch with a special permit because his family moved from Stevenson Ranch to Tesoro last summer. The fifth grader was still able to attend the school even after two prior incidents of verbal abuse of a female student and theft, respectively. Thomas’ father, Darren, said that Fleece told him that Grayson’s previous incidents did not play any role in the expulsion.

Darren Thomas, who was on speaker phone in the room while his wife spoke to Fleece in person, added that Fleece told the couple it wasn’t the exact comment that was the problem, but it was how his son made the comment.

“I’m still waiting to here what the punchline is.  What is it that I’m to be killing my kid for later today,” Darren Thomas said he asked Fleece. “‘It was how he said it,'” Darren Thomas said about the response Fleece gave to him.

The District is unable to comment on any part of the matter due to federal law, but they did release this statement last week:

“The Newhall School District is disappointed that untrue and misleading statements have recently appeared in the media and on social networks concerning the revocation of the interdistrict transfer permit of a student. The District respects the privacy of all District students, and, following state and federal law, does not publicly share information concerning individual students so the facts supporting the District’s decision concerning this matter may not be made available to the public.

The District is respected for its record of academic achievement and excellence. As a result,families often seek interdistrict transfers to send their students to our schools. The interdistrict transfer process posted on our website (www.newhallschooldistrict.net) contains the conditionsand responsibilities of this privilege.

As set out in our District’s mission statement, ‘Optimal learning takes place in a safe atmosphereof mutual respect for diversity and for the community’ and, ‘children who develop a loveof learning gain a true sense of self worth, and will become lifelong learners and caring,responsible, and productive adults.’

We are proud of the continuing accomplishments of our students, their teachers, and of thesupportive parents in our community.”

In the middle of the debate between Grayson Thomas and the District is Schauble, who has yet to make any public comments about the incident. He’s been under attack from bloggers and other Grayson Thomas supporters online. Some have even left racist comments on Schauble’s KTLA bio page. But Darren Thomas said Schauble is not to blame for anything that has happened to his son.

“This is not something that’s his fault,” Darren Thomas said of Schauble. “To place it on him, this wasn’t his fault.”

As the incident begins to grab more national attention, Darren Thomas said he’s thinking about potentially suing the school district if one, officials don’t apologize to his son, and two, if Darren Thomas finds that the issue a systematic problem.

“Apologize. I’ll go away,” Darren Thomas said. “Call my son. Take him to his class at Stevenson ranch. Stand in front of those kids, the superintendent and the principal and say, ‘we made a really big mistake here.’”


Grayson Thomas

Darren Thomas

Comments (8)

  1. why did the principle assume it was a slur instead of a compliment to be likened to the president. esp if grayson was not asked how he meant the comment. after seeing the picture of both men, attractive males with likable smiles and in the public eye, my question, had the comparison been made by an african american boy would it have not been percieved as a compliment?  it would appear to me the one with a racial issue is the principle who should have been the adult in the room. im sorry to see the kids in this exchange finding themselves being polarized by so called educators instead of being given an example or role models of kindness and fairness to all of their students. they are given a sacred honor to mold our future adults into caring and responsible individuals. not to mention every child deserves to feel safe and respected not just the ones who have famous parents. not to consider the age appropriate behavior of eleven year olds and finding out the facts in their relationships and intents of the players in their world is uneducated and irresponsible. i see this principle as the one who should be held responsible not eleven year old children.

  2. I ran into a lady the other night coming up the steps from “The Underground” in Jackson, MS.  Since the steps were narrow I let her pass and noticed how strikingly elegant and gracefull she accended and commented that at first I thought she was the First Lady.  She had a fashionable black dress on…oh my I’m a racist! God forgive me!  She laughed and said thank you!  Oh I meant it as a compliment, but deeeeeeeeep down I was thinking all black women look alike!! Fleece and Winger need to be brought up in front of the School Board!

  3. Actually, it’s Candace Fleece who is the racist here: it was HER INTERPRETATION of Grayson Thomas’s remark AS meaning “all black people look alike,” that brought about this entire debacle.  Grayson Thomas may never even have heard that stereotype before, and was merely commenting that two MEN, not two BLACK MEN, looked alike.  I’d say Grayson Thomas is doing a better job of considering all MEN equal, than is Candace Fleece!

  4. I strongly recommend a psychological examination as to the fitness of Candace Fleece to remain in her position as Principal.  It is obvious to everyone reading this story that Ms. Fleece “Psychologically Projected” her own sub conscious racist bias “That all African American men look alike” onto this innocent 5th grader.  
    It is apparent to everyone Ms. Fleece needs at the very least counseling and perhaps even psycohtropic medication for treatment of her Paranoia. 
    People who suffer from the mental illness of Paranoia and project their own thoughts onto other people especially during an official  investigation of an incident should not be position to do so. 
    This woman is a danger to every student in that school. 

  5. Welcome to the future of the united departmant of socialist indoctrination of our children..HOME SCHOOL..TEACH THE TRUTH.. Grayson’s comment could have been interperted as a compliment but the “principle” wanted to put the spin on it and did a usual liberal stupid one.

  6. pathetic

    “I went into the cafeteria and said to one of my friends, ‘That guy looks like Obama,’” Grayson Thomas said. “She thought and was saying I meant that all black people look alike.”

    if she thought that, then how can he say person x looks like person y, since Y and X would look the same. she really reached to claim the race card

  7. heyy grayson thomas is in my class hes accually really nice

  8. Glad this kid and his father are sticking to their guns. That school principal and superintendant ought to be sh1tcanned for their outright lies. I guess when the black man is in charge, all the white people are going to pay for it, huh? Pathetic, ignorant and shameful but obviously, they don’t care. Nice character….

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