Local News

Durham Students Expelled, Suspended After Gang-Related Fight

Posted October 24, 2003

— The Durham School Board has expelled three students from Jordan High School. The students are accused of participating in a fight between two suspected gangs.

The school board debated into the early morning over not just the fight, but about the risk of having students with ties to gangs in school.

Of the dozens who turned out to a the meeting, many could not agree whether to expel three students with suspected gang ties.

"If you've got kids fighting, that's not a gang,' said a parent at the meeting.

"I support expulsion and I support suspension if the facts merit it," parent Julie Linehan said.

The Durham School Board said the facts did merit it and voted to expel three Jordan high school students involved in a fight in the cafeteria; 18 others face suspension.

"I'm really disturbed. Two percent of the students are causing suffering for 98 percent of the students," Linehan said.

Bill Thomas works with the "Boys and Girls Club". He said gang violence is becoming more widespread and meetings like the one held Thursday are likely to become more common.

"There is a problem here. There are gangs," Thomas said. "Law enforcement will tell you, with the cases that they have -- unsolved murders and the drug issues -- that it's here."

Expulsion means the students will never be allowed to attend school in the Durham school system. Some at Thursday's meeting said it is harsh punishment, because apparently no weapons were involved in the fight.

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