Dad Banned From School After Social Media Comment

The father says he's being punished for speaking up about a plan to let kids cut lunch lines.

A Lakeland, Florida father is fired up after he was told he's not allowed at his son's school -- or any school in the Polk County District.

This comes after he took to social media to vent his frustrations about a letter sent home to parents before the start of the school year.

Chris Stephenson posted a letter on his Facebook page last week that sent out by the Lawton Chiles Parent-Teacher-Student-Association looking for "community partners."

Stephenson was angry about the line that read, "if you donate 100 dollars to the P-T-S-A, then your kid ... would get a "front of the lunch line pass."

 But here's where the trouble started.

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He responded in the comments on his post saying, "his kid hadn't even had his first day, and he already wants to burn the school down."

He followed the statement up by saying "figuratively, but the district took that as a serious threat.

On Wednesday, the district sent Stephenson a "no trespass" order barring him from all school events, activities, even the child pickup at Lawton Chiles Middle -- as well as all other schools and district property. 

The school's principal also posted a video on Facebook defending the order.

"Our main priority here is to make sure all students, staff, volunteers, visitors are all safe," said Brian Andrews. "We don't take anything lightly. We believe that anything posted in this day and age we need to take it seriously. We will address it firmly with full support of law enforcement and the district and that's how we handled it."

Stephenson said he believes the school's response is overblown, and he says he's being targeted because he brought attention to the "front of the lunch line" pass.

"I have no record of any criminal activity. I volunteer several schools around the area and volunteer elsewhere like the science fair. so the knee jerk reaction is very interesting. It feels retributive.:

Stephenson and his wife say they have spoken to a lawyer, and plan to contact the ACLU.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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