Pubdate: Thu, 27 Apr 2006
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Joseph Ryan, Daily Herald Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Youth)


A Barrington High School junior who was suspended from the varsity
baseball team for possession of marijuana is fighting in the courts to
get back on the field.

The 16-year-old boy and his parents filed a lawsuit in Cook County
court Wednesday seeking to force Barrington Area School District 220
to end his baseball suspension after two school-level appeals failed.
The lawsuit also says the student did not own the marijuana Barrington
police say he admitted possessing the drug April 14 in a wooded area
near Bakers Lake.

?I was in shock, disbelief and humiliated,? the Barrington teen said
in a statement filed with the lawsuit.

A District 220 spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment
late Wednesday, and the family?s attorney could not be reached.

The lawsuit accuses District 220 administrators of violating the
student?s rights by suspending him without proof or a hearing on the
merits of the ticket issued by Barrington police.

The issue started on the afternoon of April 14, when the baseball
player and as many as 11 other teens were playing hacky-sack on a
trail near Hillside Avenue and Bakers Lake, the lawsuit says.

Two Barrington police officers approached the group and found beer
cans the teens said were left by someone else, a statement from the
baseball player says. The officers searched the teens, and the lawsuit
says they found marijuana on three.

As the group was leaving, the officers found a ?capsule? on the ground
containing what they believed to be marijuana. The lawsuit says the
baseball player told officers the capsule was his after they
threatened to arrest all the teens if someone didn?t say it belonged
to one of them.

The baseball player had earlier found the marijuana on the trail,
picked it up and showed it to friends, before throwing it on the
ground again, the lawsuit says.

Later that day, the parents took their son to Advocate Good Shepherd
Hospital for a drug and alcohol test, which records submitted with the
lawsuit show he passed.

Because of the ticket, the baseball player was automatically suspended
from the varsity team under school rules, the lawsuit says.

The court date set for the drug possession ticket is May 15, the
lawsuit says.
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