State upholds year-long suspension of Gwinnett student

State school board members have upheld Gwinnett County’s decision to suspend a student for 12 months from South Gwinnett High School after she injured the principal during a fight with another student.

The unidentified student argued the suspension — which concludes in November 2016 — was too harsh, according to the state’s ruling. Although Gwinnett ruled the student could attend an alternative school, the student, who will be a senior this fall, wants to spend the entire school year at South Gwinnett High.

On Nov. 3, the principal, Eric Thigpen, ordered the two students to stop fighting, but they continued. Thigpen was kicked and scratched in the face while trying to break up the fight, according to a state report.

The student was charged with fighting, disorderly conduct and other charges. The state board decided in its May 6 ruling that Gwinnett’s decision was authorized through its policy on the charges and it could not alter the discipline.