Since The Blaze initially reported that a fifth grader was kicked out of his elementary school allegedly for saying a local newscaster resembles Barack Obama, the student—Grayson Thomas—has shared details about his ordeal in a videotaped interview.
A recap, according to Grayson and his father, Darren:
Chris Schauble, a Los Angeles TV news anchor, was visiting Stevenson Ranch Elementary School near Santa Clarita, Ca., to have lunch with his daughter, Shelbi, early last month. Grayson—then a schoolmate of Shelbi’s—noticed Schauble drawing a crowd, talking with people and shaking hands, and commented to friends that Schauble looks like President Barack Obama.
When Shelbi learned of Grayson’s comments, she complained to school officials and claimed racism. Grayson, 11, was sent home that day, and his interdistrict transfer was revoked, permanently removing him from the school. Darren told The Blaze that school officials, despite never hearing Grayson’s comments first-hand, interpreted them as meaning “all black men look alike,” a charge Grayson has repeatedly denied. School officials claimed confidentiality laws and would not comment to The Blaze; Schauble did not respond to interview requests from The Blaze.
In the videotaped interview, Grayson says that while he was sitting in the school office before officials sent him home, he heard principal Candace Fleece telling Newhall School District superintendent Marc Winger over the phone that Grayson’s remarks meant that “all black men look alike” and were stated in “a spirit of making fun of [Schauble].” He adds that he also overheard Fleece phone Schauble to apologize for Grayson’s comments.
In an interview with The Blaze last night, Grayson said he was seated next to Fleece’s closed office door but could hear her speaking through it and that she addressed Winger and Schauble by name in separate phone calls.
Grayson denies his comments meant all black men look alike and says he simply observed that Schauble resembled Obama. School officials declined to comment on the video interview with Grayson (and the interview with his father Darren) posted by Cougar News Online.
Here’s the full interview with Grayson (below it is the full interview with Darren, in which he says Schauble should not be blamed for how the school district has treated Grayson):
In The Blaze interview with Grayson last night, he also confirmed that Shelbi did not hear first-hand his comments about her father and Obama; nevertheless she and her friends confronted Grayson later, with Shelbi telling Grayson that “you and your family have no life.”
Since the incident, Grayson has been attending Tesoro Del Valle Elementary of neighboring Saugus Union School District. While his father Darren says they have no interest in Grayson returning to Stevenson Ranch even if Newhall offered it, he still wants a public apology from Winger and Fleece. He and his family have not ruled out legal action, he said.
“[They]‘ve empowered a young girl, and all kids connected with this girl,” Darren originally told The Blaze, “[to believe] that ‘If I don’t like you, all I have to do is say racism and you’re done.’”