Judge Upholds Disciplinary Policy

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A Prince George's County, Md., circuit-court judge has upheld a district discipline policy that resulted in the expulsion earlier this year of a student for carrying a Swiss Army-type knife on school grounds.

Last April, two students reported to their teacher that a knife had fallen out of the pocket of Burleigh Odum, now 14, a student at Gwynn Park Middle School in Brandywine, Md.

Mr. Odum, who maintained he used the knife to sharpen pencils, was expelled by school administrators.

The school board upheld the expulsion in August because, members ruled, the student violated the board's code of student conduct, which prohibits carrying any sort of weapon in school.

Mr. Odum's parents subsequently brought suit against the school, requesting that their son be reinstated. Judge Jacob S. Levin, in a ruling released last week, upheld the expulsion and said the board should be the final forum for appeal in such disputes. Pending board approval, Mr. Odum will return to school in January.--ant

Vol. 04, Issue 03

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