(12/04/2001)
By Bob Weaver

Two student expulsions took considerable time during the meeting of the Calhoun County Board of Education last night. One expulsion hearing was public, at the request of a parent, and the second was processed in executive session.

A 15-year-old boy was expelled for at least one year with a recommendation he enroll in the county's alternative school. Teachers and school administrators testified regarding the youth's aggressive and violent behavior, particularly toward other students.

School officials said the youth assaulted other students, putting one student's head in a trash can and another in a commode. In another incident there was testimony he "went over a teacher" and got another student down, striking him. The youth had been expelled previously and had been placed in a juvenile center and Fox Run Hospital.

Chris Mullens, a counselor with Westbrook Health, testified he attempted to help the student for 15 months, but indicated he reverted to aggressive behavior. "The boy has a record," said his father. "The facts speak for themselves."

Superintendent Ron Blankenship spoke directly to the youth at the conclusion of the hearing. "We hope you haven't given up. We wish you well," he said.

The boy's father said "For the safety of the other kids, it (the expulsion) might be a good thing."

School Board members reviewed the number of attempts the school system had tried to help the student, prior to their voting for expulsion.

The second expulsion hearing was conducted in executive session.

Other details of yesterday evening's meeting will follow later.


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