A state appeals court Wednesday overturned a decision by the DeSoto County School Board to expel a student who ate a pot brownie on the way to school. A panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal said consuming the brownie was not covered by the board’s “zero tolerance” drug policy. Shasta Mott appealed after her daughter, identified in the ruling by the initials D.G., was expelled from DeSoto Middle School.
“Ms. Mott argued that expulsion was not appropriate, particularly given the absence of any prior drug violations, but the board stated that expulsion for the remainder of the school year was the least punishment they could impose under its zero tolerance policy,” said the four-page ruling, written by Judge Darryl Casanueva and joined by judges Patricia Kelly and J. Andrew Atkinson.
“The zero tolerance policy set out in the code of conduct does not support the board’s position. It identifies the following drug-related violations as zero-tolerance offenses: ‘Sale, distribution, possession, receipt, or delivery of illegal drugs.’
The board neither alleged nor presented any evidence that D.G. committed an act of ‘[s]ale, distribution, possession, receipt, or delivery of illegal drugs’ on campus. The board alleged that D.G. was under the influence of drugs on campus, and this is not an enumerated offense in the zero tolerance policy.”