FERRIER FILES: Midstate family fighting to keep 7th grader in school after gun threat
CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) —
Mikey German is a middle Tennessee 7th grader who was expelled from school for a gun threat. But before passing judgement, you need to hear the whole story.
Mikey has never done well in school. He's been stuck in Special Ed and struggled. When he transferred to his new middle school, his family says he blossomed like a flower.
It was a dream come true with good grades and new friends until one day an encounter in the hallway changed everything.
That’s because Mikey German says he loves to joke around even when he is bullied.
“I am a jokester wokester,” Mikey said.
One quick exchange in the hallway of Harpeth Middle School changed everything for Mikey.
“In this situation, a young man going the opposite direction grabs Mikey by the shoulder and says 'here is our next school shooter,'" family lawyer Paul Walwyn said. "Mikey just being sarcastic says 'that’s right, I am bringing a gun to school tomorrow.' It was a sarcastic remark. It was his attempt to stick up for himself."
Mikey says he just was trying to come up with a funny comeback and that being taunted is something he has dealt with many times.
“There is taunting , bullying, several different factors in what happened in this case,” Walwyn said.
There was no anger, no note, no original threat. After that quick comeback, it was more than over for Mikey.
Mikey teacher's argued against serious disciplinary action. Nevertheless, Mikey German was expelled from Harpeth Middle School and is currently charged with a Class C Felony.
“Two days it was done, and a week later we're served - he is being charged." Mikey’s mom Sandra German said. "No one is looking at the context, and it has turned our family upside down."
“The joke is made by somebody else, and he just makes a joke in response," Walwyn said. "I think that kind of knee-jerk reaction is a problem."
Mikey believes he will be allowed to return to Harpeth middle school. He just can't give up on his happiest school days ever.....
“Basically everyone there is a friend," Mikey said. "Basically all I do is walk around and make jokes. I don't think i'm bad. I'm really nice."
Cheatham County Schools Director Cathy Beck declined a request for an interview. She sent this statement instead:
“The Cheatham County School District cannot comment on disciplinary issues involving students. We take the safety of our students very seriously.”