Local News

Teenage Pipe Bomb Suspect Wants To Return To School

Posted September 8, 2004 1:17 a.m. EDT

— An Apex teenager is out of jail on house arrest, awaiting trial after police say they found him with two dozen homemade pipe bombs the day before school started. While Jarrett Brown waits for his trial, he would like to return to school, but some students do not want that to happen.

"I'd be kind of scared to go to a school with a kid like that," student Vangie Arulraja said.

"You know, personally, just to be safe, I think he should be suspended at least awhile because that really scared my parents what happened," student Ben Latigue said.

Jarrett Brown's parents met with his principal Tuesday to see if he will face suspension. Some students said Brown's love for chemistry is misunderstood. A few weeks ago, his friends launched a T-shirt campaign to save him.

"Maybe by showing people that we support him, people will realize that he wouldn't do anything bad," said Aileen Coyle, who supports Jarrett.

Parents like Penny Fields just want to know what was on his mind.

"Some say it was for fireworks. You know, we don't know if that's the truth. If so, why so many," she said.

The principal makes the initial decision about whether someone should be allowed to return. If a principal decides to suspend a student, the parents have three chances to appeal. The final appeal goes to the Board of Education.

"We are the last piece of the process. We're the very last step in that process," said Susan Parry, chairwoman of the Wake County School Board.

Parry said a principal's decision weighs heavily on the decision-making process.

"Principals are most intimately knowledgeable about students and what's important for the smooth function of schools," she said.

Brown's parents told WRAL they expect to hear back from the principal later this week.