Suspended Student Heading Back to School

Suspended Student Heading Back to School

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WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) -- A West Jordan Middle School student suspended for giving a prescription cold pill to his cousin will be allowed to return to classes this fall after taking a drug-intervention class.

Tyson Burningham's 45-day suspension will be shortened if he completes a weeklong drug-intervention class in August, the Jordan School District Board has decided. If the board had kept the 45-day penalty in place, the boy would not be allowed to return to classes until Oct. 15.

Still, the family is not pleased with the board.

"I don't think I should go to drug classes because I don't do drugs," Burningham said. "It was just a decongestant."

The board maintained that the 13-year-old boy violated district policy.

"A prescription drug is a controlled substance," board member Lynette Phillips said.

In May, some parents were outraged at the severity of the punishment, calling it "absurd" and "excessive."

"The policies are ridiculous. They need to rewrite them," said Diane Fehr, a Sandy resident and mother of two middle-school students in the district. "Tyson still has to go through drug classes. What for? He wasn't taking drugs. He was taking cold tablets."

Heidi Burningham, Tyson's mother, disagreed with the board's ruling, even though it softened the suspension.

"He has to go to a class for drug users and what he did wasn't substance abuse," she said. "His doctor even wrote a note attesting to that fact." Tyson also balked at the board's decision."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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