NHS students appealing suspension

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 1999

Four Natchez High School students expelled for fighting on campus last month will appeal to the school board today.

Of the eight students charged Aug. 31 with taking part in a gang-related fight four will go before the Natchez-Adams School Board at 4 p.m.

&uot;We are trying to do everything we can to help the kids, realizing these (boys) put themselves in a bad situation,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

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This month, a disciplinary committee ruled that the students should be expelled from the high school for the rest of the school year.

The school board must approve the decision, and all students had 10 days to appeal.

Of the remaining four, one still has a few days left to appeal, Davis said.

And the other three were expelled with the option of being placed in an alternative program such as GED, Davis said.

The day of the fight, the eight students were arrested by the Natchez Police Department and charged with disturbing the peace by fighting.

School officials think the fight stemmed from an earlier confrontation between the students at a non-school function.

The students, who range in age from 15 to 18, reportedly flashed gang signs at each other, Davis said.

The district is not required to offer an alternative learning program to students over the age of 16 and the discipline committee did not request this for the older students.

This decision will be left up to the board.

&uot;I just think the board will make its own decision,&uot; Davis said. &uot;I really can’t speak for the board.&uot;

The board could decide to mandate a traditional diploma program for these students at the Alternative School.

Davis said he contacted the State Department of Education to see if this was possible.

The state has provided a one-year exception because of this situation, Davis said.

Previously the Alternative School only offered a GED program.

At tonight’s hearing, each student will be given time to address the board. The meeting will be closed to the public.