Officials examining suspensions at CSAS

Officials examining suspensions at CSAS

November 18th, 2011 by Kate Belz in News

Officials at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and from the Hamilton County Department of Education are scrutinizing the events surrounding a fight at the magnet school that resulted in 14 students being suspended.

The fight between two high schoolers broke out in the parking lot of the school last Friday afternoon, according to Robert Sharpe, assistant superintendent of secondary education for the school system. A large group of students gathered around the two fighters, he said.

CSAS Principal Barbara Jordan suspended the two students in the fight, along with 12 others who were around them.

"There were varying levels of involvement," Sharpe said. "Some could have been urging on the fight and instigating, creating a scene around the fight, and others were possibly just caught in the net of the chaos."

The two students who got in the fight are still serving their 10-day suspensions, he said, but the others should have finished out their three-day suspensions.

Jordan did not return calls requesting comment.

The department's Central Office has fielded several complaints from parents of students who said their children were "innocent bystanders," and did not deserve suspension, Sharpe said.

Because of the calls, Jordan and Marvin Lott, the school system's director of high schools, are reviewing each student's involvement on a case-by-case basis.

"The principal is working hard today to determine who was directly involved in instigating the fight and others [who] were innocent bystanders," said Sharpe.

If a suspension is revoked, Sharpe said he was unsure what action would be taken, but he said at the very least the disciplinary action would be stricken from the students' records.