School cuts teen's suspension in half

Was suspended for nine weeks for purchasing marijuana in school
March 13, 2008 3:09:33 PM PDT
A high school student's nine-week suspension for buying marijuana at school has been cut in half after community residents signed petitions protesting the punishment as too severe. Sixteen-year-old Pablo Rodriguez is allowed to resume classes today at North Salem High School. North Salem Central School District Superintendent Kenneth Freeston decided yesterday to end the suspension, originally set to run through April 11.

The sophomore was tutored at school during the suspension. He says he's happy to go back to class because it was boring at home.

Rodriguez was suspended February 5th. His parents alerted the school after they found the remains of a marijuana cigarette in his pocket. He told them he bought it in the school library for $20.

His father, also named Pablo Rodriguez, wanted his son to be held accountable but felt blindsided by the lengthy suspension.

Local residents circulated petitions and some students made up "Free Pablo" T-shirts.

Freeston said he wanted the school to have a strong stance against drugs, but he decided to shave more than four weeks off the younger Rodriguez' suspension because "we've resolved all the outstanding issues."