Attorney says teen expelled over gun incident may appeal

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2000

A Natchez High student expelled for allegedly having an unloaded gun at school may pursue attempts to be reinstated in class, his attorney said.

Jerrid Norman, 17, No. 2 Elbow Lane, was one of two students expelled for one calendar year without alternative education after a late August incident involving an unloaded gun on the Natchez High campus. But Norman appealed the discipline committee’s expulsion and the school board in October altered the expulsion to one school year, giving Norman the opportunity to return to regular classes in August 2001 and to enroll in summer school prior to that date.

Chester Ray Jones, attorney for the family, said the altered ruling &uot;was not to our satisfaction.&uot; The family had wanted Norman to be reinstated in classes now. &uot;He’s not a monster. He’s not someone to fear,&uot; Jones said. &uot;He’s just a young man who’s maturing.&uot;

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Police said Carlos Ward, 17, 166 Morgantown Road, brought the gun to school and Norman grabbed it from him. Norman may have waved the gun in front of other students in the auditorium, police have said. Because of Norman’s limited involvement, the family thinks the district’s punishment was too excessive, Jones said. &uot;They must consider whether it is in (Norman’s) best interest to litigate.&uot;

Jones said Norman, a junior, is still considering whether to appeal the matter further or to pursue his GED.

Ward, the other student involved in the incident, did not appeal the original expulsion.

Both teens face felony charges for possessing a firearm on a school campus.

They have been bound over to an Adams County grand jury as adults.mIf convicted, they could be sentenced to three years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.