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Kindergartener Too Young to Stay in School

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Little Anthony probably won't understand why he can't return to school for a while.
RALEIGH — Friday was the last day of school for a Wake County kindergartener. Hedidn't do anything wrong, but he's still being thrown out of school.

It's hard to explain "why" to a 5 year old, it's being an ex-4-year oldthat is why.

Anthony Jones Jr. has attended kindergarten at Joyner Elementary sinceAugust 18th. During an immunization check in October, school officialsdiscovered that Anthony was too young, by just a few weeks, to meet schoolsystem age requirements. The school says Friday would have to be Anthony's last day. Anthony's dad is mad.

"It's pretty messed up," says Anthony's father, Anthony Sr. "How can youhave a kid go to school half of a year and then determine that heshouldn't be there? That doesn't make sense."

The principal and assistant principal say there is an age limit rule andthey have to stick to it. They say Anthony is welcome here once he meetsthe requirements for kindergarten.

Anthony came out of the smart start program. His parents say officialswith the program told them Anthony qualified for kindergarten. Theparents say they'll have trouble affording daycare. But, it's moretrouble explaining to Anthony why he can't go to school anymore.

"They don't have any consideration for him at all," Jones says. Whatwould make him happy is for Anthony to be put in kindergarten somewhereelse.

The parents claim it was the school's responsibility to catch the age problem.They say the oversight, is now very traumatic on a very young student.

Joyner Elementary principal Susan Jordan says the school has tried to setup suitable daycare for Anthony. She says she's never had anything likethis happen in her 17 years as a principal.

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