VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The American Flag is the pride of our nation. It's a respected symbol of our freedom, but in May, a Plaza Middle School teacher said she saw a 13-year-old boy violate the stars and stripes.
School spokesperson Eileen Cox says, "A teacher observed a student who recently returned from the restroom using the American flag as a hand towel. The student indicated to the teacher that there were no paper towels in the restroom."
The student's family Attorney, Wayne Scriven, says he asked the child, "Did you wash your hands when you went to the restroom? He said I did. He said there weren't any paper towels, so I dried them on my pants before I started walking back."
He explained to his mother, Victoria Hinton what happened next, "Mommy, I was coming up the stairs and I lost my balance and I touched the flag," says Victoria.
Hinton says the flag never fell over and was not damaged. Yet today her 13-year-old gifted son sat in in-school suspension accused of inappropriate behavior
"I feel like it's of the attitude, we're going to get you one way or the other," says Hinton.
The boy's mother says her son is in the Middle Years Program which is a baccalaureate program.
"He is the only African American young man in that class," says Hinton.
She's upset with the teacher's handling of the incident.
"Why didn't you just take him aside and first ask him, 'Hey, is everything okay?' and then proceed by saying, 'well, you know, the American Flag is something we respect and we hold very high in our country, so you know, just keep that in mind.'"
Victoria is furious that during finals her 7th grade son must sit in a room away from his teachers.
"It has had a negative impact on my son's education."
However school administrators defend their punishment saying
"The student was disciplined in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct."
Scriven argues, "It seems to be an attempt to, pour ice water in his motivation."
Cox says there are several African American Students in the 7th grade Middle Years Program, but Hinton is the only male. Hinton's attorney says the family is not interested in suing the school for money however he does say all legal options are on the table. Victoria says she wants her son's record cleared and does not plan to take her son out of the school.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
A Virginia Beach pizza chain was robbed Sunday night.
The organizer of a 5K that never happened was sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking money from hopeful racers.