Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Speck of Marijuana= 3 Month Suspension and Lawsuit for Ex-High School Student

In Fresno California, a student who was arrested for a "pin-head amount of marijuana, is suing his former school district, contending it has double standards when disciplining students.
When he got caught with a tiny amount of marijuana at Fowler High School, he was suspended for three months during the 2004-05 school year. When the daughter of a school board member came to school possessing drugs or alcohol, or was high on them, she was not disciplined, the civil complaint states.

Simonian appealed to the Fresno County Board of Education, which threw out his suspension. The board found that the "pin-head-sized speck" of marijuana stuck to the rubber liner of the glove compartment of his car was not a usable amount and not enough to convict the teen.

Simonian contends the ruling came too late. He said he suffered embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety and was banned from participating in school functions. He is suing the district for $500,000 in general and special damages.

The county Board of Education rejected the Fowler school board's decision because there was no evidence to suggest Simonian's behavior could not be corrected, the complaint says. The county board noted Simonian's achievements: an A student, favorable attendance and a participant in the school band and leadership classes.
We should all find it amazing how quick some educators are to remove a good student from education because of an unusable amount of marijuana. In fact, we should find it scary.

I am glad he had the guts to bring about a lawsuit for this type of "teachers pet" behavior from the administration. During my senior year of high school, an enraged parent brought pictures she had found while snooping through her son's room while he was out to our principle. The pictures included several students smoking marijuana off campus. One of the students, a close friend of mine, was removed from our senior class trip for the picture.

The kicker was that just days before this picture surfaced, a photo of our class president drinking a beer was on the desk of our class advisor who organized the class trip and laughed about it with other students. When I brought up the hypocrisy of this, I was confronted by teachers claiming I was "sabotaging the trip", repeating over and over that "there is a huge difference between smoking marijuana and having a beer." Since both actions are illegal, the only difference I could see was that marijuana is safer.
Hope this student gets every penny.