Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Student's expulsion over being at fight overturned

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Colerain High School senior Tyler Brewer returned to school Monday after a judge temporarily overruled his expulsion.

The ruling by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel allows Brewer, a star wrestler, to make up all work missed since the school quarter started Oct. 27.

Brewer was expelled for being at a fight away from the school. His case highlighted the extent to which a school can enforce its code of conduct.

Several colleges have expressed interest in offering the 18-year-old a wrestling scholarship. Brewer ranked fifth in the state last year in his weight class.

"It's up to (Brewer) now," Nadel said. "It's a high mountain to climb. It's up to him to do it."

Nadel cautioned that his returning Brewer to school Monday does not predict the final outcome of the case.

"The only thing I wanted was to get back in," Brewer said after school Monday. "I didn't want a GED, I wanted a diploma."

After the hearing, Brewer hugged Colerain High School Principal Maureen Heintz and asked about catching up on school work. "It's behind us," Heintz told Brewer. "Let's not miss another night."

Heintz did not comment, citing state confidentiality laws regarding discipline.

"I'm glad my son will be able to get an education," said Lori Brewer, the teen's mother. "His chances for college look even better now."

Brewer was present at a fight involving other students Sept. 15 off school grounds. Someone had a gun. Brewer took it and gave it to an adult so no one would get shot.

When questioned later about the gun and fight, school officials said, Brewer failed to answer their questions, and he was expelled. The expulsion was to last until Jan. 21, the end of second quarter.

Brewer's mother filed a lawsuit Nov. 14 asking a judge to return her son to school because the incident happened off school grounds and had no connection to the school.


E-mail scoolidge@enquirer.com

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