Classmates Urge District to Not Expel Honor Roll Student

Updated: 04/21/2014 5:48 PM
Created: 04/21/2014 5:46 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a challenge that could have a far-reaching impact on one student's future, and set a precedent in a school district's policies.

On Monday, students and community members rallied in support of a high school junior who admittedly violated one of those policies.

"I've never got in trouble before," Alyssa Drescher told us.

But last week, that changed.

“It was Tuesday, and the drug dogs came in," Alyssa Drescher explained.

Her dad Rick picked up the story, "She normally doesn't bring her purse to school but last Tuesday she brought her purse to school."

“And smelled perfume in my locker and they found my pocket knife, which I forgot," Alyssa Drescher said.

“Three inch pocket knife was found inside her purse, inside her locker. It wasn't on her person, she wasn't showing it," Rick Drescher added.

“We have a fairly stringent weapons policy," said United South Central school district superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen.

“I'm fine with the zero tolerance stuff, but each case has to be looked at individually," Alyssa Drescher’s dad Rick told us.

“Our policy states there will be disciplinary action if there are weapons found in possession of a student," superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen said.

"According to school board regulations she'd be suspended for three to five days," Rick Drescher said.

“Which I thought was fine because I needed the punishment,” Alyssa Drescher sdaid. “But they want to expel me."

“Jerry Jensen is recommending to the school board that she be expelled for twelve calendar months," Rick Drescher added.

“I will not be able to share any of that with you," Dr. Jerry Jensen said. The USC superintendent said he couldn't talk about Alyssa Drescher's case because of data privacy regulations. He didn't even use her name during our interview. Instead, we talked in general terms about school district policy.

"It is posted that there is an expulsion hearing scheduled for Thursday," Dr. Jerry Jensen said. “Basically the hearing is where the students gets their day in court if they want to call it that. The consequences that may apply depend on circumstances, always Typically if there is a hearing to consider expulsion we typically have our entire school board sit in as the hearing officer."

“We're trying to free her from getting suspended," Alyssa’s younger brother Brendan Drescher told us, standing on the sidewalk in front of the USC school in Wells, holding a sign that read “Save My Sister”.

“Typically the board has full authority to administer no penalty to suspension for 12 calendar months," superintendent Dr. jerry Jensen said.

“I think the deal going on here is people want to use her as an example so everybody knows even the good kids can be expelled for making mistakes," Rick Drescher said.

"That would wreck my life. Everything," Alyssa Drescher said with an umbrella slung over her should to ward off a persistent rain.

“The safety and welfare of all of our students is our paramount concern," Dr. Jerry Jensen said.

“Put yourself in the shoes of the school board,” ABC 6 news reporter Dan Conradt asked Alyssa Drescher. “What would you do about you?"

“I would give suspension,” she admitted. “But I don't think I would go for this far."

An expulsion hearing is scheduled for 5:30pm Thursday evening at the USC school in Wells.