Education A National Roundup

Student’s Suspension Reduced After Outcry From Ga. Community

By Ann Bradley — May 17, 2005 1 min read

A student who was suspended for 10 days over an incident at his Columbus, Ga., school involving a cellphone call from his mother, a soldier serving in Iraq, returned to class last week.

Officials in the 33,000-student Muscogee County district initially suspended Kevin Francois, a junior at Spencer High School, after they said he swore at a teacher who asked him not to talk on the phone at school. They stressed that the suspension was for his treatment of the teacher, not for talking on the phone to his mother.

But residents of the town, which includes the U.S. Army base at Fort Benning, flooded the district with complaints. Educators met with the student and the guardian who is taking care of him while his mother is out of the country and agreed that he could return to class May 9. Mr. Francois ended up being suspended for two days.

In a statement, the district said that the student’s guardian was scheduled to meet with his teachers to get an update on his academic progress, and that new behavior expectations and methods of supporting Mr. Francois have been established.