Northmont Principal and Flat Stanley detained by New York subway
authorities




Now don’t think the worst – this has a very happy ending. First, here
is some information about Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley is a character
from an internationally known children’s book and has been featured in
USA Today. Flat Stanley is a paper cutout who has traveled around the
world being sent on these adventures by students and their families and
friends. Here is where the real story begins – Rebecca McDaid, third
grade teacher at Phillipsburg Elementary, has been reading the Flat
Stanley book with her class. As is done by classes across the world,
each class member makes a Flat Stanley cutout and mails it to family or
friends. Flat Stanley has his picture taken with these people and then
travels (is mailed) to someone else and then finally ends up back with
the sender. The photos and accompanying information truly tells the
story of his adventure for the students. Kevin Grone, first year
principal at Phillipsburg, was encouraged to take Flat Stanley along as
he and his wife made a weekend visit to New York City. Numerous photos
were taken at different locations around the city. While posing for yet
another photo with Flat Stanley, Mr. Grone suddenly heard a voice
demand, “What are you doing?” from a subway police officer. Mr. Grone
tried to explain the Flat Stanley project as the policeman called for
backup. As the group of police detained Mr. Grone (against a wall),
they ran his driver’s license and continued to listen to his story. The
police then explained how terrorists were threatening the subway system
and that no one can take pictures. In his defense, Mr. Grone told them
that there were no signs posted about not taking pictures. After 45
minutes of interrogation, Mr. Grone’s driver’s license came back clean
and the police relaxed but Mr. Grone still had to delete the digital
pictures that included the subway station. Finally, a couple of the
officers volunteered to take a picture with Flat Stanley to document
his visit to New York City. We’re sure Mr. Grone and none of the third
graders (or Flat Stanley) will ever forget this adventure. By the way,
Flat Stanley celebrates his 10th birthday in November – just in case
you want to send a card.