4-year-old expelled from preschool for mom's Facebook post

By Heather Leigh, Mobile journalist, hleigh@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 26 2014 04:57:24 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 27 2014 11:22:39 PM EDT

VIDEO: A local mom is outraged after her 4-year-old son is expelled from Sonshine Christian Academy following a comment she posted on Facebook.

CALLAHAN, Fla. -

A local mother is outraged after her 4-year-old son was expelled from the private Christian preschool he attended because of a Facebook post on her personal page.

Ashley Habat said she was upset the school didn't give parents more time to get ready for picture day, and so she vented about it on Facebook.

The next day, the school told Habat that her son, Will, could no longer attend.

Habat said she doesn't regret expressing her opinion, which she said was posted to her private page for only her friends to see. Regardless, she doesn't believe her son should be punished for something she wrote, she said. And she wishes the school had tried to work with her before expelling him.

Habat said she and her son ran late for school on picture day at Sonshine Christian Academy in Callahan, and she mentioned to the administrator checking Will in that she thought the school didn't give enough notice of picture day. The administrator said they put a note in Will's folder the week before.

Habat said she took to Facebook to vent her frustrations and never expected the school to see her post.

The post read, “Why is it that every single day there is something new I dislike about Will's School? Are my standards really too high or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant.”

She tagged the school in the post, and the next morning, she received a call, asking her to stop by the office when she dropped her son off.

“They just felt like we weren't the right fit, parent relationship with the school, and that they didn't want him as a student anymore,” Habat said. “He had done nothing wrong.”

According to the letter of dismissal, Habat's “relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school. … You utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity but the intelligence of our staff. ... These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed.”

“I was in shock,” Habat said. “Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friends list can see?”

The principal of Sonshine Christian Academy sent News4JAX a response saying, "This is private matter involving the school and a parent." also saying "Due to my concern for families, I am unable to comment on specifics of this situation."

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