CALEDONIA – In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Caledonia-Mumford School Board upheld the superintendent’s decision to suspend a student for 16-weeks.
According to news partner 13WHAM, Sarah Welsey, the attorney representing the student, and his parents were given about five minutes at the start of the closed-door meeting Tuesday to argue their case.
Wesley said she told the board that the punishment does not fit the crime. According to district paperwork, the student had a pack of cigarettes in his backpack and admitted to smoking marijuana before coming to school on Nov. 17.
Since then, Wesley said her client has been moved to an alternative school where he has not received the special education services he got at Cal-Mum. Wesley said the boy’s grades have plummeted and the suspension has also affected him mentally.
Wesley said the family plans to file an appeal with the State Education Department and they are more than ready to take this matter to court. Wesley said she’s looking to act sooner rather than later because each day the student is out of school, he falls farther behind.
So far, the 16-year-old has missed 7 academic weeks and it will be April before he is allowed to return to Cal-Mum High School. School Board members said they could not comment on the matter. The two-hour discussion that led up to the vote was held in executive session.
The student and his parents were too upset to talk after the vote. They said they just want to know why the board decided to uphold the decision. At last month’s meeting, the school board voted to overturn the superintendent’s decision to suspend a student for six months. That student allegedly smoked marijuana just before driving a vehicle in driver’s education class. The board voted to reduce that student’s suspension down to two months.
PHOTO CAPTION: File photo from Cal-Mum board meeting. (Photo/Conrad Baker)