Parents of disciplined students to appeal

School board to hear from Mount Hebron group

Education Beat

News from Howard County schools and colleges

April 17, 2005|By Hanah Cho

Parents of a group of Mount Hebron High School students - disciplined for drinking during a school-sponsored overseas trip to Portugal and Spain - said they will appeal the punishment to the Howard County Board of Education after their initial protest was rejected by a central office administrator.

Ten of the 16 students on the trip during spring break received a three-day suspension and a 30-day ban from extracurricular and school-related activities, including yesterday's prom, for violating the school system's drug and alcohol policy.

Several students and parents said a teacher, who was the trip's chaperone, told the students that they could have one drink. School officials are investigating the allegation against the teacher, who was not identified for personnel reasons.

According to school officials, the parents of nine students filed an appeal last week with David Bruzga, who is director of secondary schools.

In a letter to parents Friday, Bruzga said discipline procedures were followed in the case, thereby, denying the petition.

Bruzga explained that the "standard for the review of this type of suspension is to determine if the student received procedural due process, which, in a school setting, involves the opportunities to be informed of the charges and to respond to the charges which result in disciplinary action."

Several parents, however, contend proper discipline procedures were not followed in their children's cases.

Scott Wilson, parent of Brittany, a Mount Hebron senior, said their concerns have fallen on "deaf ears," and he doesn't expect a favorable outcome from their appeal to the school board. Wilson and other parents say they are considering legal options.

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