Social Misunderstanding leads to School Suspension

My 9 year old son was recently suspended from school for two days over two one off racial comments that were said with no violence, malice or aggression. Most of his friends are Indigeneous and he has been accepted as one of them, being taught their language and how they speak to one another. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in the school setting. He used a word which to the average non-indigeneous person without knowledge would seem offensive, though in their language just means "silly".

He has just received a stellar report for the first semester of 2010 and the first time ever he has received a report that has not included negative remarks regarding his behaviour. He got a B for behaviour which is above average. He has not been in any behavioural trouble all term up until these two incidents.

This all came about very suddenly following the Principal's announcement at School Parade that Racial Discrimination would not be tolerated at our school in the wake of the recent NRL slurs and media sensationlism that followed.

It was explained to him that this is not tolerable, though I believe he still did not get the message. He was not given Social Stories as examples or any counselling from either a Guidance Officer or the Disabilities Teacher.

He has never spoken this way at home, sport or to my knowledge any other place ever before. He has great respect for a number of Indigeneous people in many different settings.

I would value some input on this.