Six 10-Year-Olds Suspended For Being In Gang

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(Memphis) Six boys, all in the fifth grade, have been suspended from a south Memphis elementary after being accused of being in a gang.

Shelby County Schools say all of them were told to stay away from Westwood Elementary for 130 days.

One student's father said his son was forced into a confession.

Kevin Shannon said his 10-year-old son doesn't even hang out with the alleged gang members, and the only time they could possibly interact is on their walk home from school.

“My son is not in a gang,” said Shannon. “He hates to see a dog get hurt. He wouldn't hurt a flea.”

Shelby County Schools has labeled the 10-year-old a danger, saying Kevin, Jr., confessed to being in a gang after the school's gang unit questioned a group of kids caught up in a fight after school.

“The leader of the so-called gang wrote down who was all in it and what their codes were and what would happened if you were put in violation,” said Shannon. “He named my son as one of the people.”

Westwood suspended six 10-year-olds for the rest of the school year.

Shannon says his son confessed to being part of the gang out of fear after being interrogated by authorities.

“He said something like, ‘Tell your father what you told us’. The only thing he could say was you 'I told them I was in it.’ But keep in mind he's only 10-years-old.”

Shelby County Schools, however, says the suspension wasn't based on a confession or what the leader of the so-called gang said, but the fact other children pointed to Shannon’s son as being part of this group and being involved in fights on-and-off campus.

Shannon says his son has never been in trouble and he's appealing the decision.

“He’s a bright kid. He's very intelligent. I wish you he was here now so you could see the character that he has.”

If Shannon doesn't win his appeal, Shelby County Schools says his son can still finish the school year at an alternative school.


  • Vidal

    I hate when parents are quick to declare the innocence of “their” child/children when they know deep in their hearts what kind of child they have raised. PARENTS “STOP DEFENDING, START INVESTIGATING and HAVE AN OPEN MIND THAT YOUR CHILD MAY NOT BE AS ANGELIC AS YOU WOULD WANT THEM TO BE!” I see young kids this age on a daily basis giving one another gang handshakes… and the saddest part of it is… the chance that the child is not well educated and grades and/or attitudes reflect that! C’mon parents… you were once a child!!!!

  • Nonya Bidness

    When I was a kid we had clubs, with meetings in someone’s tree house. Today that would be a crime and get us kicked out of school.

    • Marion Fryer

      As your comment states, you and your friends gathered and played in a tree house….you did not state that you and your friends gathered, intimidated and fought with other neighborhood children….don’t confuse the issue. He was fighting or participated with a group that habitually fought at school and in the neighborhood. As a parent, my little one would have to face the wrath of my discipline measures….not get a defense from me for doing wrong…

  • carparthian

    Being in a gang is for lowlifes who can’t face the world alone.By the time they are 15 they will already have been locked up more than enough

  • Don

    The article didn’t say if there are older members who use the younger kids to do their dirty work because most of the time, if caught the children are only given a slap on the wrist and turned to the parents to educate them.
    I think the SCS may not tolerate what the former MCS allowed.
    Time for the students and parents to shape up.

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