|By Bob Weaver|
Calhoun school administrators are sticking to their guns regarding expelling several students who entered Calhoun Middle-High School and Arnoldsburg Elementary School without administrative approval, court documents in a civil action say acting superintendent Dan Metz contends the students violated the schools Code of Conduct related to trespassing.
The document says in both school entry cases, the male students obtained entry to play basketball during a weekend, although in the Calhoun Middle-High School incident the students obtained drinks and snack cakes from the cafeteria, while another student jumped and tilted a surveillance camera.
The entries were recorded by school cameras.
The expulsion of the students was put on hold by the Calhoun school system, after attorneys for the students obtained a temporary injunction issued by Judge David W. Nibert.
Nibert is set to rule today on whether or not the temporary injunction will be dropped, or whether it will continue.
The school system has engaged Charleston law firm Bowles Rice, whose attorneys contend, in the case documents, that the circuit court had no lawful basis interfering with the school system's discipline procedures, citing a number of West Virginia cases.
Attorneys for the students, Loren Howley and Tony Morgan, contend the expulsions are drastic measures that affect the students future, and would do irreparable harm, and are requesting a continued injunction to stop the expulsions.
The attorneys, in the court documents, say that several of the individuals are honor students and athletes and expulsion would affect pending scholarships.
The school's law firm says there are "bedrock principles" related to trespassing, citing case law.
The student's attorneys contend a 10-day suspension was an adequate consequence.
In the civil action, students gave depositions regarding their behavior, one student said "What I took part in was wrong and stupid, but it was not harmful or disruptive," saying his expulsion would have a long-term impact on his life.
Loitering charges brought against students Mason I. Sheldon, 18, of Grantsville, Ryan Joseph Slider, 18, of Mt. Zion, and Raymond C. Davis, 20, of Big Springs, not a student, have been dismissed in Calhoun Magistrate Court.
The charges were dropped following a motion made by Prosecutor Shannon Johnson to the magistrate with concurrence by the State Police, with individuals required to deliver 50-hours of community service. The motion was made "without prejudice," which means the charges could be refiled.
According to case documents on file:
On Saturday, March 29, several high school students, reportedly six, entered Calhoun Middle-High School. One of the students got inside the building through an open window, and opened a door allowing the others to enter the building.
A couple of the students played basketball, some of them walked around in the halls, and two of them went into the kitchen and removed a small amount of juice, fruit, and snacks, which they ate. One student jumped and rearranged a security camera.
On Sunday, March 30, high school students entered the Arnoldsburg Elementary School and played basketball in the gym, getting inside the building because one of them had overheard the pass code, which they used. Those students only played basketball in the gym, and did not go elsewhere in the school.
According to a school board agenda, eight students were listed for expulsion on April 23.
Acting Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Dan Metz declined to confirm the incidents, saying "Calhoun County Schools does not wish to make a statement concerning this story."
See JUDGE NIBERT ISSUES INJUNCTION HOLDING OFF EIGHT CALHOUN STUDENT EXPULSIONS - Hearing Set May 19
THREE CHARGED FOR LOITERING AT CALHOUN MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL