Circle View Elementary School returned to normal Friday, a day after three dozen sign-wielding parents protested 6-year-old Jimmy Peters' return to kindergarten under orders of a federal court judge.
Jimmy arrived at 10:50 a.m. Friday along with his father, Jim Peters, in time for recess. He stayed until 11:20, when class ended. But unlike Thursday, there were no reporters and no angry parents to greet him.
Jimmy is at the center of a bitter legal dispute that has pitted the Ocean View School District against him and sparked strong protests from some parents over other children in his class.
The district filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Jimmy May 25, requesting that he be indefinitely barred from class because he allegedly kicked and bit other classmates and disrupted the learning environment.
But Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Byrne rejected the request, ruling that the injuries Jimmy had allegedly caused his teacher and other children were not serious enough to warrant his exclusion.
Jim Peters, who denies those allegations, refused to voluntarily transfer his son to a special education classroom, prompting the lawsuit.
Friday was Jimmy's second day back in school since May 19, when he was suspended for allegedly biting a teacher.
Ocean View Supt. James Tarwater said only 18 of the 31 children enrolled in Jimmy's class were present Friday. Most of the absent children were kept home by parents to protest Jimmy's return, Tarwater said, but he could not provide a precise number. On Thursday, 17 children were in class and all but two of the absences were the result of parent protests.
Some parents, however, have supported Jimmy's return to school.
"I'm not surprised more students didn't come back because of the circus thing yesterday," Tarwater said. "But overall, I'd say things were calm today."