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School Board Rules In Favor Of Student

Friday, December 17, 2010

As we reported in last week’s Grassroots Alert, Demari DeRue, a 16-year-old junior at Columbia Falls High School in Columbia Falls, Mont., was facing expulsion from school because, after a recent weekend family hunting trip, she inadvertently left her unloaded hunting rifle locked in her trunk, and then drove to school Monday morning and parked on school property.

According to an article on Missoulian.com, in a unanimous vote Monday night, the School District 6 Board of Trustees decided not to expel the junior varsity cheerleader, honors student, and hunter.

District 6 Superintendent Michael Nicosia amended his initial recommendation to the school board that DeReu be expelled.  “I recommend to the board in this case, where an unloaded firearm was inadvertently brought onto school grounds, that the board not expel Ms. DeReu,” said Nicosia.

A standing-room-only crowd gathered for the disciplinary hearing, some of whom waved signs criticizing school officials’ handling of the case.

Demari said she hoped the school board would reconsider its policy and make exceptions in future cases so that other students are not subjected to the ordeal she had to endure.  “I hope nothing ever happens to any other student like what has happened to me,” she said.

Before the board’s final vote, audience members lined up to express their disgust with school officials, calling for a letter of apology to the family and a revision of the school policy.

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