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Mon, Oct. 21

KUSD OKs policy for troubled students

Roger Jacks

Roger Jacks

First-time offending students expelled from school districts throughout the state for smoking pot or drinking booze now have the opportunity to enroll in Kingman's school district, but only after going through a somewhat extensive process.

The Kingman Unified School District governing board unanimously approved an expulsion policy change that gives the board the ability to consider accepting out-of-district expulsions into one of its schools.

"The policy gives total power up to the board," said Roger Jacks, the district's superintendent.

This change doesn't mean the district will open its doors to hoodlums. It simply means that students expelled from other districts for offenses Kingman Unified does not punish with expulsion, such as getting caught using alcohol or marijuana one time, have a chance to be accepted into the district.

It won't be easy, though.

The new policy contains a list of acts that, when committed within another district, make students ineligible to enroll at schools within Kingman Unified. The list includes but is not limited to physically attacking an employee, committing arson, selling or distributing drugs or alcohol, sexual assault, gang activity or assault on another student with a weapon.

A student who tries to get into the local district after being expelled for committing one of these offenses at an outside district will not be given a chance to even explain his or her side of the story, Jacks said during a previous interview.

Those expelled for relatively mundane offenses must go through a process.

First, students expelled from an outside district may not apply for an appeal until nine months have passed since they were punished. Also, they would not be eligible to enter the district's school system until two school semesters have passed since expulsion.

Once a student appeals his or her expulsion, the board is allowed to gather for a closer look at the facts surrounding the case, Jacks said. Theoretically, the discussion would lead to the board deciding whether or not to grant the student and his or her parents an appeal hearing.

Lastly, once the appeal hearing has taken place, the board gets decide to either uphold the other district's action or accept the student into the district. If accepted, the student - as long as he or she is in high school or middle school - will have to complete a nine-month program in one of the district's alternative school programs.

Jacks pointed to the flexibility - nonexistent before the change - the policy gives the district and the board.

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