School suspends boy for alleged Hobbit Ring invisibility threats

Technically Incorrect: In Texas, they do not take kindly, it seems, to fantasy threats from 9-year-olds. In this case, Aiden Steward allegedly threatened another child that he could make them disappear with his One Ring.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Can this ring really make Texas children disappear? Erikcson Dc/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Only the rarest child has the destructive powers of, say, Damien from "The Omen."

Most merge a fantasy life with the real one and shout a lot.

It seems, though, that one elementary school in Texas has decided you can never be too careful. For it looks upon a 9-year-old boy as a threat.

As the Odessa American reported, Aiden Steward allegedly claimed he had special powers. For he had the One Ring. Yes, he could make other children invisible. (And, yes, he'd just watched "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.")

I'm sure there might be one or two teachers at Kermit Elementary School in Kermit, Texas, who wouldn't have minded if some unruly students would disappear for a day or two.

However, it was Aiden who was disappeared by the school. He was suspended. Indeed, the Odessa-American reported that the school viewed the placing of a ring on another child's head and promising to make them disappear as "a terroristic threat."

Aiden's dad, Jason, told the New York Daily News: "I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend's existence. If he did, I'm sure he'd bring him right back."

Why would the school have its Baggins in a twist? Is there evidence that Aiden is a deleterious ringleader?

Aiden's dad told the Odessa American that his son had been suspended before. Once was for referring to another student's skin color. The other was for the apparently subversive act of bringing to school a kids book about pregnancy.

To be slightly more precise, it was reportedly the Big Book of Knowledge. Jason Steward told the Daily News: "He loves that book. They were studying the solar system and he took it to school. He thought his teacher would be impressed."

The Big Book of Knowledge has a section about pregnancy. One mustn't have pictures of pregnant ladies. That's naughty.

Of course, as with some such stories, there might be facts and circumstances that have yet to emerge.

The school's principal, Roxanne Greer, told the Odessa American that all matters of student discipline are confidential. I have, though, attempted to contact the Kermit schools district to wonder how it viewed the suspension. I will update, should a reply materialize.

Aiden's dad told the Daily News that he's waiting for a written explanation. And if that doesn't satisfy him, he will wave his wand and have the school magically lifted into the air and taken to a remote part of central Florida. (Please ignore that last sentence. I went to the same high school as Tolkien. Some elements of fantasy never leave one.)

In these days of constant menace, we must always be on our guard for potential disruptors. They are lurking everywhere, ready to enact scenes from fantasy movies and reality television.

What will Kermit Elementary School do if a child pretends to be one of the Real Housewives and demands a divorce in a very high voice? What if a child insists he's Clark Kent and insists someone take him to a phone booth, right now? The worries are endless.

I wonder if and when Aiden Steward will return to school. I also wonder what the stewards of his education will say and do.