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School board expels 2 CORE students

The Lonoke School Board met in a special meeting on Monday night to address disciplinary issues with two students in the Committed to Other Routes of Education (CORE) program. The meeting was closed to the public.

The board voted to expel two students during the meeting. The first, a female high school student from the Lonoke School District enrolled in the CORE program, was expelled for the remainder of the school year for violation of Rule 34 — assault/battery with substantial risk of death or serious injury. While the student and her parents had the right to appeal the expulsion before the school board, no one was present at the hearing on the students behalf.

The second student was a male high school student also from the Lonoke School District enrolled in the CORE program. He was expelled for the remainder of the fall semester and until March 28 for violation of Rule 32 — terroristic threatening. The student and his parents attended the hearing.

While both students are enrolled in the CORE program, the incidents were said to not be related to one another.

According to Superintendent Suzanne Bailey when situations arise on campus, building principals and administration began investigating claims. The Lonoke School District currently has two resource officers on campus to offer assistance in investigating if needed. As part of the district’s investigation process, Bailey said they also look at the law and handbook rules.

Although no two incidents are alike, Bailey said parents are contacted for a meeting as well as written notification of the incident is sent to the parent. Bailey said she nor the building principals have the authority to expel a student. She said they are only able to suspend students up to 10 days at a time. Due to limited authority to expel students, expulsion recommendations are then made to the board.

Bailey said it was her recommendation to the board that all both students be expelled for violation of the handbook rules.

The CORE program is an alternative learning environment available for a limited number of students in sixth through 12th grade from the Lonoke, Carlisle and Hazen school districts. For students who may not be successful in a general education setting, the program offers guidance counseling and academic support through action plans, placement teams, student expectations, exit requirements and smaller classroom settings.

Mike Brown were absent from the meeting.

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