A Missouri school district is now up against an angry dad after suspending his daughter for the majority of the 2014 school year because they found references to marijuana written in her personal journal. What is even more disgusting is that her disciplinary papers indicated that she had been suspended for “possession of a controlled substance,” even though she is not guilty of anything other than penning her thoughts.
Tom Grayhorse says his daughter, Krystal, has suffered major set backs as the result of the school district’s decision last year to suspend her – originally for 10 days and then extended for the duration of the school year. She lost credits needed to graduate as well as suffered a blemish to her permanent record that could keep her from attending a good college, he said.
During an interview last week with The Springfield News-Leader, Grayhorse said that his daughter had never been in any trouble until she was called down to the principal’s office last May. It was there she learned that staff members had found her missing notebook and made the decision to investigate the contents.
Inside the handwritten journal, school officials claim to have read personal accounts of Krystal using marijuana and even notes that suggested she had, at some point considered bringing it to school. It was then that school officials determined that a suspension was in order.
“Anything that’s drug-related or alcohol-related, we are going to have zero tolerance,” said Dallas County Superintendent Robin Rickie.
However, Grayhorse says the school did not suspend her for writing marijuana-themed content in her journal, but rather they sent her home with paperwork that suggested she had been disciplined for “possession of a controlled substance,” which he argues was not the case. “She had no cannabis on her person,” he said. “She gave it to no one.”
Although the high school has never allowed Grayhorse to read the contents of his daughter’s notebook, he believes that whatever is scribbled on those pages is nothing more than the mind of a creative teenager at work. “She does write fiction stories. She likes to write,” he said. “It could have been part of a story.”
Grayhorse has since filed an appeal with the school district to reconsider the length of his daughter’s suspension, which is scheduled to be heard later this week at a Dallas County school board meeting. He hopes that he can persuade the board to allow his daughter to return to class, so that she can have a fighting chance at graduating in May.
“It was a personal notebook. It wasn’t a school notebook she had to turn in,” said Grayhorse. “She didn’t write anything about being in al-Qaida, she didn’t write about giving (marijuana) to anybody else, so why did she receive such a harsh punishment?”
School officials argue that Grayhorse does not know the full story, but for some reason they refuse to fill him in on the dreadful details. Regardless, it cannot be disputed that the school’s choice to treat the word “marijuana” written in Krystal’s notebook in the same manner in which they would have if she had brought weed into the school is absolutely ridiculous.
Even in a zero-tolerance environment, how is it possible that a written expression about a plant can warrant the suspension of a teenager for seven months? Hell, Missouri recently passed legislation to legalize cannabis oil, yet students are still forbidden to discuss or write about marijuana? This just goes to show that the cannabis movement really has a long way to go before the puckered asshole of America is ready to embrace the end of prohibition.
Good luck Krystal…we are rooting for you!
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.