Pittsburgh Public Schools claimed a pencil was a weapon and expelled a student. The courts disagree.
May 2, 2017 – The Incline – by Sarah Anne Hughes
A pencil is not a weapon inside a Pittsburgh public school.
That’s the crux of an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas’ ruling that the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld Monday. And according to Cheryl Kleiman, a Pittsburgh-based staff attorney for the Education Law Center, it’s a decision that sends a message to districts across the commonwealth: “The era of school districts’ unbridled discretion to use the weapons possession statute to discipline students for behaviors in schools is over,” she told The Incline today.
In June 2016, Pittsburgh Public Schools expelled a 14-year-old sophomore at Pittsburgh Obama — referred to as S.A. in court documents — for allegedly attacking another student with a pencil.