Georgia Board of Education overturns expulsion of Cobb student

The Georgia Board of Education reversed a decision by the Cobb County Board of Education to expel a Campbell High student.  CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Combined ShapeCaption
The Georgia Board of Education reversed a decision by the Cobb County Board of Education to expel a Campbell High student. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

The Georgia Board of Education voted unanimously to reinstate a Cobb County student who had been expelled.

The move last week reverses a decision made by the the district’s school board in October.

The school board violated the student’s due process rights when it failed to provide reasonable notice of the charges against the student, according to a news release from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represented the student during his appeal.

“The district is aware of the state board’s finding that the student was not sufficiently notified and are reviewing specific policy, and the law, while the student continues to learn in the most appropriate environment,” a district spokeswoman said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ExploreMore news about Cobb schools

The Campbell High School student allegedly was found with a vape pen appearing to contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the school bathroom in September, according to state documents. The substance was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for testing, but the results were not available at the time of the district’s hearing on the matter.

At an October disciplinary hearing, the student was suspended for 10 days and expelled for the remainder of the school year with the opportunity to attend an alternative school. The school board upheld the sentence later that month.

The student missed more than 100 days of instruction after his expulsion.

“The state board of education’s decision affirms important statewide precedent that protects students’ right to a fundamentally fair process before they are deprived of their education,” Mike Tafelski, a senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in the release.