Tags: boy | suspended | over | leaf | marijuana

Boy Suspended Over Leaf School Thought Was Marijuana, But Wasn't

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 04:38 PM

An 11-year-old Virginia boy was suspended from school for a year over a leaf in his backpack, charged with marijuana possession, and is struggling with depression and panic attacks despite three tests that have shown the leaf was not from a Cannabis plant.

In an extensive story published Sunday, The Roanoke Times explored the case of the suspended sixth-grade student whose parents, Bruce and Linda Bays, are now suing the Bedford County School District and the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office. The Bays are both schoolteachers.

The boy, who has been allowed to return to a different school, away from his friends, is searched at the beginning and end of each school day for drugs, despite no proof he had drugs in the first place, the Times reported.

The sheriff’s office is included, according to the lawsuit, because Deputy M.M. Calohan, a school resource officer, was the person who filed marijuana possession charges despite field tests indicating the leaf wasn’t marijuana.

In court in November, the Bays and their attorney were initially told the commonwealth was asking for a continuance because the leaf hadn’t been tested by an outside lab. When the parents wouldn’t agree to a continuance, the Times reported, they found out it had field-tested negative three times.

Despite the marijuana possession charges being dropped in criminal court, Linda Bays told the Times that the school and court systems were different.

“It doesn't matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf — okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that's grounds for expulsion,” The Washington Post reported on the story.

Online, the outrage over what happened to the child is palpable:



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An 11-year-old Virginia boy was suspended from school for a year over a leaf in his backpack, charged with marijuana possession, and is struggling with depression and panic attacks despite three tests that have shown the leaf was not from a Cannabis plant.
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Monday, 16 Mar 2015 04:38 PM
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