Published on September 24th, 2014 | by News Feed
Teen Kicked Out of School For Mentioning Pot in Her Journal
Many teenagers write in journals and treat the blank pages of a notebook as a safe place to vent frustrations, worry, or even anger. But in one Missouri school district, teens are thinking twice about journaling after one girl’s journal entry got her suspended from school for the rest of the year. Ton Grayhorse told reporters that school officials suspended his daughter, Krystal, when someone found her lost journal and turned it in. Staff members read the private entries and found references to marijuana, which the principal claimed was grounds for suspension.
Initially, Krystal was kicked out for 10 days, but the district soon extended the disciplinary action and refused to allow her to return to classes for the reaminder of the year. This means that Krystal will miss the credits she needs and she will not be able to graduate with her class in May. Grayhorse said that he was stunned when his daughter came home with disciplinary paperwork. Even though her only offense was writing about marijuana, the school wrote her up for “possession of a controlled substance”. Needless to say, this incident could ruin the girl’s chances of getting into college.
Dallas County Superintendent Robin Rickie said officials acted according to their standard procedures. “Anything that’s drug-related or alcohol-related, we are going to have a zero tolerance,” he said. However, Grayhorse said the suspension is bogus and actually untrue. “She had no cannabis on her person,” he insisted.
As a parent, Grayhorse is in a difficult situation. As he fights to protect his daughter, the school officials refuse to give him access to the journal or even let him read a copy of the marijuana-related entry. He claims that the writings could have even been fictitious stories. “She does write fiction stories. She likes to write,” he said. “It could have been part of a story.”
Grayhorse has appealed Krystal’s suspicion with the school district and the school board will hear his case later this week. The concerned father plans to fight as long as it takes to get this incident removed from his daughter’s permanent record. He hopes she can return to school soon. “It was a personal notebook. It wasn’t a school notebook she had to turn in,” he explained. “She didn’t write anything about being in Al-Qaida, she didn’t write about giving (marijuana) to anybody else, so why did she receive such a harsh punishment?”
So far, school officials are not backing down. They insist that there is more to the story than what Grayhorse is leading people to believe. Yet they refuse to let the parent or anyone else have access to the journal entries.
Do you think the school district violated the rights of Krystal Grayhorse by reading her journal and taking disciplinary actions based on her private writings?