Pubdate: Fri, 07 Mar 2003
Source: Times Daily (Florence, AL)
Copyright: 2003 Times Daily
Author: Lisa Singleton-Rickman


COLBERT HEIGHTS - A Colbert Heights Elementary sixth-grader is facing
expulsion after being accused of giving a marijuana cigarette to another
sixth-grader, school officials say.

The student, whose name was withheld because of his juvenile status, is
suspended until a March 17 hearing before the Colbert County Board of

The child who was given the marijuana also received a one-day suspension and
did not go to school Thursday.

Sue Hornbeak said her son came home Tuesday with a single marijuana
cigarette and asked her if it was really marijuana.

She said intimidation was used by the other boy as a means of getting her
son to accept the marijuana.

"He brought it home and gave it to us immediately," she said. "He did the
right thing, and we're proud of him for that."

She said she didn't think her son should have been suspended for any period
of time but said she understands the school officials' reasoning that her
son should have reported the incident immediately to his teacher or

"There was a lot of peer pressure involved, but he still did the right
thing," she said. "Letting us deal with the situation ourselves was fine
with us. If he was being intimidated not to tell on the boy, I can
understand that, too."

Assistant Superintendent Andy Bolding said such situations present a lot of
gray area.

"According to the school system's code of conduct, having drugs at school is
a class three offense, and our board has to weigh the facts," he said. "The
policy calls for suspension until the hearing takes place. The board will
hear all the facts and then act on a recommendation by the superintendent."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh