By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Two Booneville High students won’t be punished academically as a result of an incident at the school’s home football opener last month.
At the end of a lengthy school board meeting and executive session to discuss a disciplinary matter Tuesday night, the Booneville School Board upheld part and reversed part of the disciplinary actions imposed on the students.
The two students, who were not named due to privacy issues, were initially given a six-day suspension by the principal for jumping the fence (as opposed to entering through the gate) at Booneville High School’s season opening football game against Baldwyn; ignoring instructions from school officials not to run on to the field of play; and subsequently running on to the field prior to halftime, according to Casey Lott, attorney for the Booneville School Board.
Principal Terry King also prohibited the students from attending Booneville High School football games for the remainder of the season, and both of these actions were upheld by the school board, Lott said.
However, the school board retroactively suspended the current board policy which prohibits students from making up work missed during the course of their first suspension, which results in a zero grade for any test or assignment missed, Lott said.
School Board President Marshall Dickerson had said the board would allow individuals a chance to speak to the issue before going into executive session for the discussion.
Because the incident occurred during a football game and was observed by many people in the community, vocal support had grown to reduce the harshness of the penalty on the students, who were described as good students whose academic standing should not be jeopardized.
The two students will be allowed to make up any coursework missed during the course of their six-day suspension and will not have an adverse effect on their grade point average, Lott said, and the school board will consider adopting another policy at a later time.