His Teacher Quit in Frustration : School Told It Must Take Back Dennis-the-Menace 1st Grader

Associated Press

A first-grader whose antics disrupted his class, prompted a veteran teacher to resign in frustration and got him expelled from school must be reinstated, a judge ruled today.

State Supreme Court Justice Howard Levitt said 7-year-old Jonathan Hutcheson should be allowed to finish first grade at Grace Lutheran School in Malverne so he doesn’t “lose the benefits of the academic year.”

He noted that the school and Jonathan’s parents, Muriel and James Hutcheson of Hempstead, have agreed that the boy will not return to Grace Lutheran next year.

Levitt ruled in a suit filed by the parents that when school officials expelled Jonathan two months short of the end of the school term, they “effectively deprived the student of his educational rights.”


Jonathan was expelled because of general misbehaving, the school said. He allegedly punched two classmates, sprinkled water on another child and tried to set fire to the playground.

One teacher testified that the boy was so incorrigible in class that she had to resign. She said she had taught in the worst parts of New York City and never had such trouble before.