Dec 13, 2006 11:17 pm US/Central
Teen Expelled From School For Turning In Found Gun
Plainfield Student's Parents Say The Punishment Doesn't Make Sense
(CBS) PLAINFIELD, Ill. A 13-year-old Plainfield boy and his parents are stunned and outraged after the teen found a gun in school and turned it in to authorities, who then expelled him.
CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports Ryan Morgan's parents and supporters attended the school board meeting Wednesday evening to try to fight the expulsion. They believe the punishment, and the subsequent alternative school option, are not the proper responses to a mistake made by a teenage boy.
Ryan Morgan, 13, says he pocketed a pellet gun he and a friend found in their school's bathroom to keep people safe. Morgan's mother says a short time later Morgan gave the gun to the Troy Middle School assistant principal.
"I told him maybe that wasn't the best decision, to remove that gun, but it did lead to you finding the culprit, he was arrested and to put my son in alternative school -- he has no behavior problems," Audrey Morgan, Ryan's mother, said.
The Morgans say there was no reasoning with the principal or with the school superintendent.
"He said, 'The board can give your son full two-year expulsion, I'm asking you not to go before them,'" Audrey Morgan said.
They went anyway, saying they had nothing to lose, only to see the meeting minutes already recommend expulsion.
Roy Morgan says he can't accept that, but accepts his son's decision.
"He said 'I'm going to turn this in' and you know what, I commend my son for making that decision. It was the right decision," he said.
School board officials issued a statement Wednesday night saying due to confidentiality reasons they can't discuss the specifics of this case, but that "purposeful possession of weapons is a serious offense and deserves careful consideration by the administration and the school board."
Can you tell what's most important here? It's compliance with the rule; the rule that a child should not touch a gun ("purposeful possession") but should report it to an adult. So a kid breaks the rule in order to turn in the gun in person and is rewarded with expulsion and shunning by the school board.