School suspends crying son of murdered man because his eyes were red

A high school in the town of Trophy Club, TX suspended a 16-year-old boy because he came to school with bloodshot eyes. School administrators say that's enough to make the case he was using marijuana.

When the boy's mother called the school to explain that the boy had been crying because his father had been murdered, the school said the boy could return to school, provided the boy pass a drug test.

He took the test, and was allowed to return to school.

The boy's mother says she is trying to get the district to remove the suspension from his permanent record. Administrators told her she must go through the formal appeals process for that to happen.

And that's how it works in the happy hamlet of Trophy Club, TX.

School Suspends Boy for Bloodshot Eyes (Via Arbroath)



  1. To be fair, being stricken with overwhelming grief is probably more of an impairment in school than being a little high.

    1. I smoke whenever I get the chance … very rarely do I have bloodshot eyes.

      I’m more likely to have bloodshot eyes if I oversleep … or drink heavily. Since when was this a blanket form of proof of dooby smoking?

  2. Why in the world would he have agreed to a drug test? This suggests that the school was justified in their request!? What kind of unfeeling monsters are these school administrators to suggest that while it was true that his father was murdered, he must have a drug test anyway!?! Why are they allowed to have jobs in a field like education? Ridiculous… I hope they are ostracized from their community…

  3. “School administrators say that’s enough to make the case he was using marijuana.”


    Some non intoxicating causes of bloodshot eyes:

    * Acute angle-closure glaucoma
    * Ataxia telangiectasia
    * Bimatoprost
    * Cavernous sinus thrombosis
    * Chemical exposure
    * Choking games in children and adolescents
    * Choroidal melanoma
    * Chronic dry eye
    * Conjunctivitis
    * Corneal abrasion
    * Dacryocystitis
    * Dendritic ulcer
    * Diphtheria
    * Eagle’s syndrome – bloodshot eyes
    * Ectropion (eyelid)
    * Endophthalmitis
    * Episcleritis
    * Eyestrain
    * Fatigue
    * Foreign body
    * Glaucoma, secondary
    * Herpes simplex
    * Herpes virus 2
    * Iritis
    * Keratitis fugax hereditaria – bloodshot eyes
    * Keratitis, hereditary – bloodshot eyes
    * Ophthalmia neonatorum
    * Photokeratitis
    * Pinguecula
    * Polycythemia – bloodshot eyes
    * Pterygium of eye
    * Queensland tick typhus – bloodshot eyes
    * Recurrent corneal erosion
    * Red eye
    * Rubeosis iridis
    * Salzmann’s nodular degeneration of cornea
    * Sandfly fever – bloodshot eyes
    * Sarcoidosis – bloodshot eyes
    * Scleritis
    * Sicca syndrome
    * Sjogren’s syndrome
    * Strangulation
    * Subconjunctival haemorrhage
    * Subconjunctival hemorrhage
    * Superior vena cava obstruction
    * Toxic Shock Syndrome – Bloodshot eyes
    * Trachoma
    * Trauma
    * Travoprost
    * Uveitis
    * Vitamin C deficiency
    * Yellow fever – bloodshot eyes
    * Sicca syndrome
    * Pterygium of eye
    * Choroidal melanoma
    * Ectropion (eyelid)
    * Ataxia telangiectasia
    * Superior vena cava obstruction
    * Dacryocystitis
    * Herpes simplex
    * Corneal abrasion
    * Herpes virus 2
    * Diphtheria
    * Ophthalmia neonatorum
    * Dendritic ulcer
    * Subconjunctival haemorrhage
    * Bimatoprost
    * Travoprost
    * Recurrent corneal erosion
    * Cavernous sinus thrombosis
    * Vitamin C deficiency
    * Glaucoma, secondary
    * Pinguecula
    * Salzmann’s nodular degeneration of cornea
    * Rubeosis iridis
    * Trachoma
    * Acute angle-closure glaucoma
    * Endophthalmitis

    The jury is out on the cause of stupidity in government school officials, though their actions here make a strong enough case that they just aren’t that bright.

    1. Indeed. I can understand sending him to the office for some questions and then checking out his story. But to just assume he was on drugs and suspend him. They are lucky Mom didn’t sue for the idiocy of their case and the demand for a drug test.

  4. Also, it’s ragweed season.

    I guess anyone who suspects that I and many other people are constantly under the influence of weed this time of year would be correct, in a way.

    1. Really? Throwing out a generalization like that about a state of almost 23 million people? Way to showcase your ignorance.

    1. HABEEB IT.

      Yeah, school administers being dumbasses really isn’t a new thing. This is, however, a flagrant example of the dumbassery.

    2. As a simple google new search would have revealed to you, this story has been widely reported by several local news outlets.

      Go grind your ax somewhere else, this stone won’t turn.

  5. Welcome to the real world son…where despite what you’re told…you’ll be suspected of being guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.

    Just Sad.

  6. You also kind of need to understand about Trophy Club a little.
    It’s a small “suburb” of a suburb (Colleyville or Grapevine depending on who you chose to believe)that is for the wealthy only. There is only one road in and out of Trophy Club, and all residents must have a sticker declaring their residency on their auto, no sticker? prepare to get pulled over by Trophy Club PD and harassed for a couple of hours (the former CEO of the last company I worked for lived in Trophy Club, I went to his house to setup his home network, got pulled over on the way out for my blood not being blue enough).

    Blood Shot Eyes? God help anyone with seasonal allergies.

  7. I remember in high school the principal seeing me changing from my school shoes into gym shoes at the end of the school day. He came up and asked me just what I thought I was doing and then informed me I would receive a detention if I put my socking-clad foot into the gym shoes. He was utterly serious about this. I then told him I was in theater and about to go into 3 hours of dance rehearsals for “Godspell”. He reiterated that I had to wear my dress shoes “until I got home” at which point I would be free to change. It was a “zero tolerance” policy.

    For shoes.

    I was 13 years old and that is the precise moment I realized that anyone advocating or enforcing a zero tolerance policy was forfeiting their common sense and should be regarded with suspicion, pity and concern.

    A good lesson to learn.

    1. “I was 13 years old and that is the precise moment I realized that anyone advocating or enforcing a zero tolerance policy was forfeiting their common sense and should be regarded with suspicion, pity and concern.”

      You left out contempt, vitriol, and disgust.

    1. At least Texas isn’t as bad as Florida.

      (sigh, we progressive Texans have to have something to make ourselves feel better. Not only do we have towns named Trophy Club with high schools named after golf heroes, we also have the most useless segment of society, the message board commenter, pissing on our rugs.)

      1. agreed.

        it must be wonderful to be born and raised anywhere outside of texas where everything is as it should be – no one makes bad decisions, there are no conservatives, no dissenting opinions, everyone is well educated, so on and so forth. it sounds really dreamy.

        1. Wherever and whenever rules or laws are applied purely in a mechanical manner, and without regard to the other facts of the individual case, injustice in specific (hopefully rare) cases will be a result.
          That’s the way it is, and ever has been, whenever you replace human judgment, with the “mechanical” application of rules.
          The question though, is whether such individual cases of injustice are few enough, rare enough, to yet allow some reasonable justification for the continuance of the practice.

          Though it’s very cold comfort to the one being screwed over, to say: “What happened to you is unjust; yet you must suffer it, for the good and benefit of Society as a whole.”

      2. Nice try, roboton. Everyone knows Texas is far and away the worst state . Especially for authoritarian crap from schools and cops! take your “we could vote to succeed from the union at anytime” crap and do it already.

  8. Similar to the time I got pulled over by a cop in Missouri.

    I was driving from Wichita to Chicago and I prefer to drive at night when going long distances to avoid city traffic. I was completely sober, but the cop wanted to search my car because my eyes were “bloodshot” and I was “jittery”.
    I was wearing contacts, and my eyes are sensitive. I was also drinking a 20 oz. Coca-Cola at the time for the caffeine. However, I’m pretty sure he thought he had a crack addict on his hands.

      1. I challenged him. I figured if he was gonna waste my time with his “drug smuggling” bullshit (in the middle of the Midwest), I’d equally waste his time. I had nothing to hide.

        I’m a very efficient packer when I travel or move, almost like it’s a game of Tetris. I told him he’d have to put everything back the way it was. He took one look in the window and decided not to go through with the search.

  9. This is a prime example of what happens when a community loses touch with the average populace. The median household income in Trophy Club for 2008 was $116,845 dollars. I feel bad for the kid losing a father, and for living in a town populated by over-privelidged homogenous, suburban nitwits.

  10. Way to raise our next leaders! Develop a policy that virtually guarantees immediate suspension of any student who stays up late studying their coursework.

  11. How about an automated disemvowelling of all comments that contain the word “Texas?” If you think your comment should be re-emvowelled there will be a formal appeals process to which you can submit.

  12. The boy’s mother doesn’t seem at all upset about the father’s murder. What was the relationship there, I wonder?

  13. As a native of the area where this happened, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Saddened, perhaps, but not surprised.

    Trophy club is a tiny town. It pretty much exists for the sole purpose of speed traps and overpriced upper income “master planned” housing developments.

    Basically, living there is, in and of itself, a status symbol. So anything that might possibly besmirch their “reputation” is going to be dealt with in such a way as to put it out of sight as quickly as possible.

    In this case, that rather severely backfired.

  14. Isn’t Trophy Club one of those white flight suburbs where people go because they don’t want their kids getting dirty in Dallas?

  15. The only thing worse than 3 strikes laws are zero-tolerance rules, especially when the zero-tolerance policy puts the burden of proof on the accused. We are getting closer and closer to a police state. Also, it is happening more in the “Red” states, where freedom is supposed to be such a big deal! It seems like the same portion of the population that complains that Obama is stealing their freedom by giving them access to medical care are the biggest proponents of zero-tolerance policies.

  16. In an atmosphere where critical thinking among students is held in such high praise, it is the greatest of tragedies that the administration of those students relies upon the exact opposite of what they hope to instill in these young students.

    1. If you think critical thinking is valued in high school, you should go back and look around a few classes.

      Disagreeing with your teacher- even if you are polite, wait until after class, and demonstrate that you are objectively right- is as likely to earn his enmity as his respect, depending on his own personality.

      It’s been 5 years since I graduated high school, and I was the kind of student who thought critically about many things. Many of my teachers did value that, but some did not. One time my economics class was complaining about the grading of a test. The teacher refused to admit any errors on his part. I finally showed him that I got every question right- as per his grading- and still only got a 94/100. He *still* wouldn’t admit he was wrong. And no, he didn’t curve grades.

  17. To those admonishing those ragging on “Texas” – nobody is ragging on the general population of Texas. When people criticize the USA, they aren’t criticizing us, the people, they’re criticizing our government. People criticizing Texas here are criticizing the government of Texas. Is everyone on the same page now?

  18. I’ll bet the school has a standards of behavior policy for students. Not administration, though, of course not.

    I just hope the power of the intertoobs is sufficient to squeeze a pained we’re-sorry-if-they-got-upset “apology” from school officials as well as a clean academic record for the kid.

    Can’t imagine they’ll pay for the cost of the doctor’s appointment, drug test screening, and time off of work for the mom, though.

  19. Everything is biggest in Texas; including big, dumb assholes apparently.

    [still gagging over seeing Fox “News” logo on Boing Boing – yes, I know it’s “only” a local affiliate, but I’m holding my nose nonetheless.]

  20. Imagine how many kids in that school actually get away with drugs.

    The whole zero tolerance policy is too harsh for a high school. Kids are going to do stupid things, it’s part of growing up. Destroying a kid’s chances of making a decent living before he has time to figure out what that means is just ridiculous.

    1. The whole zero tolerance policy is too harsh for a high school. Kids are going to do stupid things, it’s part of growing up.

      Not only that, but sometimes they do reasonable things, too. And frankly, from the way that people have been describing “Trophy Club,” lighting up an occasional splif is probably a pretty reasonable. Might help ’em stay sane.

      The adults that live there are their own punishment (it’s kind of nice when assholes segregate themselves, so they can be more easily ignored by the rest of us), but I’m sad for the kids who have to put up with it. It’s hard to believe they won’t grow up screwed up in some way.

  21. Just an extension of the police state. Everything is proceeding as usual. Move along before you realize we’re circling the drain to totalitarianism.

  22. I worked close to Trophy Club (in Keller) recently and what everyone is saying is true, Trophy Club is a status symbol town.. They split from Westlake cause they were too good for Ross Perot (yeah he pretty much owns all of Westlake) and the Byron Nelson school was built because Trophy Club parents didn’t want their kids going to the other high school in this school district (Northwest High School in Justin, TX) because they didnt’ want their kids going to the same school as the ones in Justin. Cause they were too country bumpkin for Trophy Club’ers.

    I roll my eyes, but I’m not surprised. This is suburban Fort Worth. Even more snoody than suburban Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys practice in Carroll High School’s (about 10 miles to the SE) football complex. Status symbol? You bet.

    Fox 4 is just as bad as Fox News as far as I’m concerned. They are laying their bias into every news story now-a-days, it didn’t used to be that way.

  23. Wow. I have to carry Visine with me because of my allergies. I also have a nose spray. I’d be S.O.L in Trophy Club

  24. And people think I’m crazy to shell out $40,000 a year to send my kids to private school. The teachers and administrators know my kids like they were their own, and I can’t tell you how much that is worth. If public school districts were properly funded to provide smaller schools with smaller classes, this kind of thing might be avoided.

    1. I save $40,000 a year by homeschooling my kids.
      Every time I hear another example of schools grinding out any love of learning or teaching our kids to bow to idiotic authority I am so happy we homeschool.

  25. Haha… it’s just funny because I’m from Dallas. Kids used to get high at lunch when I was in school. But I remember back when people began flipping out over heroin in Plano. Dun dun dun!

    Oh how did it ever find it’s way up Central?

    So it will also be for Trophy Club. You can’t keep rich kids from buying drugs.

    1. “You can’t keep rich kids from buying drugs.”

      No, but (based on my recollection) you CAN send ’em to Nolan. Or check ’em in at Willow Creek. (or perhaps the latter would’ve been to far way… I grew up in sort-of-close Arlington)

    2. yeah, but by the time a white yuppie larva from Plano had overdosed, and SUDDENLY it was a big issue, what with Mtv covering it nonstop, the same dirt cheap, overly pure, snortable black tar heroin had already taken a massive toll on the less affluent Dallas kids, for like…4-5 years previous. The shit hit Plano right around the same time Deep Ellum became “trendy” enough to have coffee mugs, key chains, and ramped up Police presence, allowing the P.O.S.H. and P.E.S.H. kids to feel comfortable enough to venture south long enough to make the kind of friends their parents moved to north to keep them from.

  26. That being said, obviously what you *can* do is make the lives of kids who don’t do drugs as miserable as possible.

  27. I *really* wish the mom would demand not only an apology, but a reimbursement for the cost of the drug test and *AN IQ TEST* for the school administrator. I mean, how great would that be at getting the message across if the media was reporting that she is demanding an IQ test from the administrator? It doesn’t matter that they would never do it.

  28. Were ain’t stupid in Texas?! Although I lived here all my lives. WWe shold ban the internets and red eyes.

  29. Yeah I don’t know because I’ve lived here all my life, if we actually have more obnoxious assholes than other states or if they’re just more flagrant. I actually think it’s been getting worse though. It seems like it has been at least.

    1. It’s just because Texans have had more years of Bush educational policies than the rest of us. We’ve only had eight years of mind-rotting stupid, please give us some more time to catch up!

  30. Zero. Tolerance. – the name makes it perfectly clear that it’s a policy invented by bureaucratic idiots for bureaucratic idiots. Every mechanical system has tolerances and at least a small amount of wiggle room to allow for variation in parts. Humans vary even more than manufactured parts, so tolerances should be even greater.

    We’re all doomed.

  31. Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN HIGH SCHOOL!

    In other news, George W. Bush retired to a home in Dallas, so there really are no surprises in this news story.

  32. the next line should be screamed in a heroic way with a fist
    up in the air..



    (montrealfilmguy takes a bow.)

  33. It took years in my home reeducation camp to get my wife to quit equating a ‘druggie’ (read recreational drug user) with automatically assuming them to be morally compromised. Face it the propaganda works, Hurst nailed it when he chose to sell papers using racism and fear of the under classes to sell papers by equating these groups with certain kinds of drug usage. It is now the PC thing to hate crack users when you cant hate someone who appears to have African descent anymore. Thanks to Nancy Regan, the reefer madness crew, and the cops who come to classrooms every year for spreading the hate.

  34. Ha, Texas.

    How are they gonna discriminate against people when weed and gay marriage are legalised?

    Oh that’s right… race.

    Texas, you never cease to amaze me.

  35. If I was the boy I’d remnd them that in two years I can vote, and I’ll start a life long campain to destroy their careers.

  36. I vote that if you want to live in Trophy Club you need to be dipped in tin then electroplated with gold and mounted on a cheap laquered wooden platform, then left in your front window.

  37. It is so nice that students are being taught they are guilty until proven innocent because that is obviously the basis for our criminal justice system.

  38. Not to mention, it’s nearly impossible to mask that particular scent unless you take a shower and change into unaffected clothing. I always have a good hearty laugh when I see a movie or TV show where a character is smoking up and then tries to open a window and hand wave the smoke away. It was ridiculously easy to tell who was a stoner (or even just a cigarette smoker) in high school from ten feet away. Although I admit, in my naivety, it took me many years to draw the connection to ubiquitous sunglass wearing…

  39. Even if he was smoking MJ — who gives a darn? The school was being real insensitive. They should issues an apology.

  40. The scariest thing is the idea of a “permanent record” which a school suspension could be registered on, and which could then come to the attention of (presumably) a future college or employer. Does the USA (Texas? Trophy Club?) really have this?

    ‘cos that seems wrong.

    1. As a longtime Amarillo resident, I was about to post a defense of the Texasoclasts against the Texasodules. Despite this admittedly perfect squelch, I’m sure that most of Texas would agree with me that the Quran-defending skateboarder is hardly typical of Amarillo.

  41. Did anyone even think to ask the student why his eyes were bloodshot? This poor child is grieving and is now faced with suspension on his record because no one even stopped to talk with him.

    I do believe that teachers are too quick to assume and need to take more time listening to what their students have to say with an open mind. Tara from OPPapers

  42. I got this beat.

    In my senior year of high school, a classmate of mine was having a bad day. Boy trouble. She was in tears, but got it together for class. A teacher barked at her for something, she snapped back in an uncharacteristically rude way, and was sent to the vice principal (for the first time in her life). She got there, vice principal noticed her eyes were all red. Searched her purse. Found a bit of white powdery substance.

    Called the cops.

    My friend was perp-walked off the campus. In handcuffs.

    Turned out the white powdery substance was salt: the residue from an assigned lab experiment in Honors Chemistry class. I never asked how much the lawsuit cost the district.

    Texas in the 21st century? Nope. Liberal Southern California, circa 1987.

    Zero tolerance is among the more foolish of fool’s games.

    1. I can think of no policy more likely to bring the administration of justice into disrespect, and to lead to public contempt of both the laws and those charged with its enforcement.

      Unless that is the “secret goal” of such laws: to shiver our society.

  43. No wonder so many kids are dropping out of school. Schools take a bad situation and make it worse, and tell the family that is not only your responsibility to pay for any problems we incur upon you, but then you have to pay the court to have the problems fixed and expunged. When organizations put their own interests in front of those that keep them afloat, they are doomed to failure.

  44. My brother and his family lived near Dallas for a few years in the 90s. My then 12 year old niece asked her schoolmate one day if she could borrow her rubber (the normal Australian word for an eraser). There was hell to pay when the other girl (little snitch…) told the teacher. My niece was accused of being foul-mouthed and filthy, my sister-in-law was called in for a dressing down (which went in the other direction, according to her report). We put it down to ignorant nuns, but maybe it is Texas. At least my niece didn’t get suspended and sent to another school, like the red-eyed boy in Trophy Club.

  45. Isn’t it worth it to have your kid suffer all this to get the wonderful 26th in the world level of education?

    I mean, if your kid works hard, goes the extra mile, gets a PHD, they can be considered the equivalent of a high school student from 20 other countries!

  46. This is the most (and I don’t use this word often) stupid thing I have ever seen a school do. What kind of imbeciles do they have working there.

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