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Lindley Estes writes about Spotsylvania County schools, King George County Schools and other issues of interest to the community.

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UPDATE: Appeal filed for expelled Spotsylvania teen

Yesterday, the Rutherford Institute filed an appeal in Spotsylvania Circuit Court on behalf of Spotsylvania High School freshman Andrew Mikel II who was expelled for the rest of this school year.

Producers with the ABC-TV program, “The View,” have expressed interest in having Andrew appear on the program, Nisha Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute said this week.

Details aren’t yet finalized but the Spotsylvania County teen could appear on Tuesday (Feb. 15).

Andrew was expelled and charged with misdemeanor assault after shooting plastic pellets through a tube at fellow students.

You can see our full story on the issue.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/gettingschooled/2011/02/08/expelled-spotsylvania-teen-may-appear-on-the-view/

  • Stephen

    I’m quite sure there are a lot of things CAPABLE of firing a missle or projectile that are commonly used by students everyday. Most pens could be considered under that catagory. Shall we start expelling people for bringing pens to school?

  • Brandy

    @FLO…your point said that the schools should worry about the students doing drugs and getting pregnant. It said nothing about your upset over the type of punishment given. I have issues with zero tolerance myself, but it is because of Mr. Mikel (Andrew’s father) that we have such policies. Parents who think that detention is all that is needed, especially when there has been previous bad behavior are the cause of zero tolerance.
    What would you have done if you child came home from school telling you that some kid was spitting plastic pellets at them during lunch and nothing had been done about it? What then. I believe that ALL of us would be upset if a child being a BULLY and that’s what he is, were to have gotten off with detention instead of a harsh punishment. EVERYONE is forgetting about the OTHER students involved here! This is not The View worthy!

  • Libby

    James,

    Since straws “are capable of firing a missile or projectile” under the section you quoted, would you support charging all students with one with either “brandishing a weapon” or “posession of a weapon on school grounds”? Would a pen in your pocket require a “concealed carry” permit? Should all weapons (straws) be removed from the school? I believe the school has now classified pens as a weapon, so all students should be charged with posession of an item that “is capable of firing a missile or projectile.” My God, man, think.

    A 5 year old can by a pen at the store. Should we require a background check on pens and straws now? I believe TSA allows pens and straws on flights. They should review their policies based on the findings of the Spotsylvania School Board.

  • Stephen

    The same students who did not complain to someone of authority? Yes, I can totally see how badly affetced they were by the situation.

  • Stephen

    affected*

  • Brandy

    I do need to add one more thing…When someone is spitting pellets at fellow students and is asked to stop and he say no, would you not consider that INTENT?! Mrs. Mikel, although I understand your upset, you must also understand the upset of the rest of us who will not tolerate bullies in our schools. The story out there is YOUR story. The schools have not been talking, as well they shouldn’t. Why feed into your 15 mins.?
    @Susan..I take offense to you calling us idiots! It is you, the ignorant, who are idiots. On your soapbox, throwing around hateful speech to make a point.
    Here are my points…1. The student was asked to stop and didn’t. 2. This wasn’t just spit balls, they were plastic pellets and trying to say that just because no one was seriously injured, just annoyed is absolutely disgusting! Our kids deserve better! 3. This “honor student and JROTC cadet” should have known better PERIOD! 4. He and his father signed a Code of Conduct at the beginning of EVERY school year. If you don’t agree with it, why do you sign it?!
    It’s plain and simple!

  • Libby

    Brandy,

    Read the Code of Conduct and tell me where any reasonable person could figure out that spitballs= expulsion+suspension+criminal charges. I read the Code of Conduct and no reasonable person signing an agreement to that could figure that out. It was wrong and stupid what the student did, and the appropriate discipline should be administered. The issue is if we are going to start calling pens and straws weapons, and jack up punishment on these types of offenses. Do you agree that someone bringing a gun to school and shooting is equal to someone spitting plastic balls out of a pen, and they both should suffer the same consequences at the school? Common Sense people!

  • Brandy

    Libby…they were not “spit balls” and I wish that all of you would stop using that term. A spit ball is a wad of paper made with spit. Something at is truly harmless. These were plastic pellets and none of us knows what they actually looked like considering, the picture out there has been given out by the family of the perpetrator.
    A “projectile” is anything that is propelled or projected with force. I believe that is the proper desciption of what we are talking about here.
    Do I agree with the total punishment here, not necessarily, but I do believe that a 10 day suspension was in order.
    Common sense is not being used by you or anyone else who feels that this is a simple case of “kid’s stuff”.

  • Chill

    Brandy, you’re just as bad as sara. This kid was not a bully. And even if he was, the only way to make it stop is for the bullied kid to stand up to him. Tattling may make it stop, or may make it worse, but either way the “victim” learns only how to continue being the victim. And then those people grow up feeling like you do. Hence zero tolerance policies go into effect to keep outspoken victims like yourself quiet.

  • Brandy

    Quite the contrary. Zero tolerance is in effect because of people like you who are at the principal’s door as soon as their child is in trouble. Crying about how little johnny didn’t deserve the punishment he got.
    Zero tolerance is in effect because administrator have their hands tied by parents who want to sue instead of dole out punishment at home. Zero tolerance is in effect because we have a society where bullying is considered a Kids will be kids thing and people should use violence to stop it. Maybe you didn’t read my previous post, but these kids DID ask him to stop and he said NO! What was the next thing they should have done? THEY did the right thing! They went to authority instead of they themselves getting a punishment for dealing with this child themselves.

  • Libby

    Brandi,

    I actually think we agree. The kid did wrong, and should of been disciplined. I am not sure if the 10 day suspension was appropriate, but definately seems to be within reason. Is it common kid stuff? I do not think either of us knows the intent here. Was it friends goofing around? I don’t know. But I agree, 10 days suspension would at least make sense to me, and would of more than likely, kept this out of the public eye.

    I think the issue here is not the kids actions, but how the Zero Tolerance policy is being applied. It seems originally, the school imposed a 10 day suspension. We didn’t hear anything then on the incident, so I assume all were good with it. It seems that when the school board applied the weapons charge and criminal assualt, mandating an expulsion,for possession of a pen, that this got out of hand. It may be that the school handled this appropriately, but the School Board and Zero Tolerance forced their hand to do all this extra punishment. I think the kid was thrown out in December, so that makes it at least a month or more of suspension so far not to include the criminal side of this. Has he been punished enough?

  • Brandy

    You’re right Libby, we are all not privy to everything here. I will say this, the father of this student stated in the newspaper that he felt a detention was in order. Perhaps that is why it went as far as it did. Maybe he felt the 10 day suspension was too much and decided to fight it, making the school board go with zero tolerance.
    It’s unfortunate. This boy is being used by his parent, the Rutherford Institute and any other crazy with a political platform to fight zero tolerance and it comes at his expense. This is not a proud moment, it’s a sad one. The life lesson here is fight, even when you’ve done wrong, because people will listen and agree!

  • Libby

    But why would the school be justified in punishing this kid so harshly, even if the father was upset? That would make it more of a personal vandetta wouldn’t it? The school board has to be objective, and ensure justice is received. The original 10 days should of been it. If your scenario is true, than it is almost like a double jepordy case. You are implying that the school board punished the kid harsher because the father was upset, which is obviously WRONG.

    Still, calling pens and straws weapons is where the school board stuck their foot in their mouth big time. The should of kept the original punishment and moved on. And to throw the book at a kid because the father was upset, shows poor judgment. I think if it is discovered that the school board, or school, did anything inappropriately, they should be held accountable just as the kid was. Kids need to also learn that adults are accountable for their actions too.

  • DD

    @Michelle – Scary but very true. It is a form of profiling. My youngest son experienced it. I will not go in to detail here for obvious reasons but if anyone wants an ear full about how Spotsylvania County allows kids to fall through the cracks – even after Jerry Hill and every other member of the school board has been made aware of the situation — they can contact me directly. And if you don’t think that these types of over the top profiling issues make a life long impact on a child you are very very wrong. Again – you can read my many posts above and and clearly tell that I have issues with this system and others in this county. I would love to air my story to the media! But yes Michelle — if your child is not a Governor’s school candidate or even has diagnosed disabilities, they are treated very very differently in many different ways. Word to the wise. If you have children growing up in Spotsylvania County be very concerned.

  • jim mikel

    The plastic pellets had the mass of a Rice Krispy. They are the size of a metal BB, but 1/5 the weight. His previous infractions included bringing a comb that looked like a knife to school, and shooting rubber bands with a ruler. Neither time did he threaten or intimadate anyone. There is no evidence that Andrew refused to give up his “weapon” when asked. Is it appropriate to use deadly force then, since this was an assault? Shouln’t parents be notified that their children may be shot dead for violations?

  • http://lovingmebaby@netzero.com Rosa

    Brandy you go girl. Tell it like it is. That boy should have known better and now hes going on the t.v. This is ridiculous because a fight could have broken out when he was asked to stop. I am behind the school 100%

  • jim mikel

    P.S. Andrew wrote personal letters of apology to the students that were hit and were given to Ms. Andruss. Apparently she did not give them to the students. Andrew is not a bully, has never been in any other trouble. This is the most serious punishment a school can impose. How many taxpayer $$ has it taken to punish this prank?

  • Brandy

    The reason to go with a harsher punishment would simply be a because the parent forced their hand. By bringing it into a bigger situation and not accepting the 10 day suspension the school board had no recourse.
    Look, I am not defending any of the other decisions made by this board, I’m not a fan, however in this case, the minimizing of the situation is just not right.
    Mr. Mikel, how would you know if Ms. Andruss delivered his apology? I don’t believe, after all the hateful things that have been said about her and Mr. Davis, that you, Andrew, or anyone else would be the first to know. Besides, a little too late. Stopping when asked would have shown more respect.
    The issue here is taking your punishment. Trying to say that you are fighting for all the other students who may come up against this is, in my opinion, a pathetic attempt at putting the blame elsewhere. Going on a television show to promote what amounts to a political platform is disgraceful. Using Andrew as the posterchild for your political platform is disgusting! And basically, what most of you are saying is the REAL victims should “get over it”. You know what, they probably already have, but the fact that you are all glossing over what was done here is the reason for the upset from parents who would not have liked it if their child were the one who was hit.

  • Bob G.

    I wonder if it makes a difference if several of the IP addresses supporting the school are actually coming from the school? Taxpayers are funding the school to support the school during school hours maybe? Hmmm…

  • Sarah

    Fox News? Oh boy, that explains it all right there. This is horrendous. I am embarrassed for Andrew because his parents are using this to fuel their personal agenda.

  • Courtney D.

    My family has, in the past, had to deal with Spotsylvania County Schools Zero Tolerance Policies. I did not nor do not agree with many of their decisions. Not all of the cases that go before the board end up in the newspaper. My brother was expelled, never to return to school, forever changing the course of his life. My brother simply was walking a path through the woods. He came across a broken, knocked down fence. He continued walking, and was stopped by a police officer. It turns out he was standing about 15 to 20 feet onto Chancellor High School property, and that Friday night CHS had a game. The officer asked my brother about weapons. My brother explained he did have a pocket knife on him. He was taken into custody, and later had to go before the board. He was expelled for having a weapon on school property. Well he didn’t know he was on school property, and the fence that should have kept him out was broke. The school knew the fence was broke, and just didn’t care to fix it. He was treated horrible, like a criminal. He did not attend CHS, nor knew he was that close to the school. He was just trying to walk to a friend’s house. That walk changed his life forever. The school board did not care he did not live in the area of that school, or that the fence was down, that this was a child who really did not mean to be on any school property, I mean really 15 to 20 feet. My parents even brought pictures showing how it was a innocent mistake, and most adults would have followed the same path my brother took. The school board understood the CHS was also at fault, but It was a zero..we don’t care..sorry about your luck, bet the fence still isnt fixed Policy!!!!

  • Chill

    Brandy, appealing, complaining, whining, publicizing, or in any way furthering the original punishment should have ZERO effect on the punishment. Once the punishment is determined, only additional evidence should increase or decrease what was given. What the schoolboard did was wrong. Anyone who doesn’t see that is intentionally blinding themselves to support their agenda.

    Furthermore, the pen and pellets are not weapons. Everyone needs to stop pretending they are. If someone tries to rob you with a pen and pellets you’re not going to react the same way as if they pull out a real gun or knife. People trying to smear both the boy’s behavior and the parent’s are the ones acting disgusting. They’re the ones who have had their rights trampled on.

  • Rufus

    “Which of you is willing to cast the first stone at this kid?” We all shot, got hit, or observed flying rubber bands during our teenage years.When we got hit, the shooter was usually a good friend having a laugh.
    I love Bette Midler and Barbara Walters, and it will be nice to hear their kind words about this. It has gotten worldwide attention in USA and many foreign countries.

  • Brandy

    Let’s just say this…NONE of us, including Andrew’s family was there, knows what truly happened or have the whole story. We don’t know all the circumstances and shouldn’t claim to.
    The pens and pellets were not spit balls either…were they deadly weapons, no, but they were dangerous and AGAIN…he was asked to STOP!!!!! He chose not to!
    All of the debate is really neither here, nor there. And no matter how this ends, the real shame here is that this kid’s behavior is now being glorified and made into some sort of stand for injustice, when it should have been a lesson in responsibility.

  • Libby

    Brandy,

    The family is practicing their rights in this free country called America.

    If you were to go 5 miles over the speed limit, you would be breaking the law. You COULD hurt someone, you COULD kill someone, ete…and because of that the judge sentences you to lfe in prison, because thats what a murderer would get…and you COULD of killed someone.

    Then you decide that the punishment is harsh…one side says you knew the rules…no speeding. Then add in that the judge makes up a new rule and says that cars are weapons as they can be used to harm people, and you got the Spotsylvania County Schools position, even worse than the harsh judge. They say, take the punishment, and quit trying to justify what you did. The other side says wait, why is she getting punished for something that never happened, murder, etc, Why didn’t she just get punished for what she did?
    The former side is your case, and the latter is the families. What if there is more to the story? What if there is misconduct and disregard of the law on the side of the school? Will you advocate such harsh treatment on the adults misbhavior?

  • GunnerC

    Great points from all. But let us really look at this. This kid did something wrong. PERIOD! Was it really so awful that he should be expelled from school? No, I don’t think so. He does need some counseling and maybe the parents need some parenting classes. With all that said “he could have, might have or it is possible” that he put some ones eye out. Well, think about it. Every woman in the world has the equipment to be a prostitute, but just because they have the equipment doesn’t mean they should be prosecuted for it. Get this family help, make the punishment fit the offense (I am a firm believer in community service, humiliation is a great thing!), get him back in school so he can have a positive impact on society.

  • jim mikel

    Andrew understands what he did was wrong, and is remorseful. When Andrew was confronted by school personnel, he immediately gave over the pen. One of the children was a friend of his. What about a zero tolerance policy for school personnel? They may have broken several rules in the way they handled Andrew. They called the Sherrif and did not call his father to be present during interrogation, which is clearly against the rules, There are several other areas which the school clearly broke their own rules. The damage they did to him was far greater than any damage he did to his fellow students. Should they not be held accountable? Does he have no rights to defend himself? Even a murder has a right to an attorney. Would you prevent my grandson the same rights? Furthermore, the media contacted him, not vice versa. Andrew’s father accepted the 10 day suspension. The school chose to go for the further punishment. His sister goes to the same school and knows one of the children-that’s how we know he never got the apology letter. All the family is doing is trying to vindicate their child and help him put his life back together.

  • Gina

    I say it is time for Military School – obviously he can’t control himself in public shool – let his parents be burdened with the expense. He will learn discipline and respect. I also question why this young man is acting out over and over again. Why does he desire negative attention at school – is it to get “attention” from his parents. He is old enough to know right from wrong, especially if he has did this before.

  • Bugs

    The boy should have been punished with an ISS, or detention. The school administration and the school board, should be ashamed of themselves. I think it’s time to remove these officials, get out to vote. If this is the best solution they can come up with. The sheriff’s department did not want this to go this far, but the school board moved forward with the support of the school administration. No wonder people are flocking to private schools, or home schooling. The arrogance and incompetence displayed by the school board and school administration is unbelievable. This school board and school administration have made Spotsy County the laughing stock of the country.

  • Libby

    Bugs,
    If the Sheriff’s Department did not want this to go this far, why did it? The Sheriff, and deputies, are sworn the Constitutions and to the people…not the school board. If the Sheriff is marching lickstep with the School, doing as they are told, then we have a much bigger problem in Spotsylvania than spit balls.

  • Libby

    And spit balls can be plastic, though they are not recommended for ages 3 and under. I can’t believe they are selling weapons to kids now! I imagine our law enforcement would be quite busy busting all these offenders nationwide. Maybe coordinate a dragnet?

    Glow in the Dark Spit Balls (escapadedirect.com/glowspitballs.html)

    Kids (and kids at heart) love to play with Spit Balls! They slip, slide, bounce, and explode! And… they glow!

    Now you can create your own Spit Balls using these fun polymer balls. What looks like a tiny hard sphere changes and grows when you add water – up to 200 times their original size!

    Toss them gently and they bounce. Throw them hard enough and they explode. They’re slippery and squishy and fun to play with. When you’re done playing, gather the Spit Balls together and let them dry out. They shrink back to their original size and can be reused again and again.

    The Glow in the Dark Spit Balls are perfect for fun in the dark. Just add water and let the madness begin!

    Spit Balls glow for hours in the dark and under a black light.

    Makes perfect science party favors, stocking stuffer gifts, and fun science fair projects, too.

    Contains:
    •2 grams Spit Balls (about 50 spheres)
    •Directions on back of card

    Product Details:
    •Recommended Ages: 3 and up
    •Product Material: Safe, Non-Toxic Polymer Balls
    •Product Size: Spit Balls grow to about .6″ in diameter – the longer they are in water, the larger they will become

    WARNING! CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 years.

  • Brandy

    Maybe would should just all see how this plays out. We can debate and argue and give our opinions all day long and it will accomplish nothing!

    My issue with this situation is the fact that many are trying to minimize what happened here. Please try and see it from the other point of view.

    As far as the “spit balls” your talking about Libby…they are not what was used and if they had been we would certainly be dealing with the same situation. It’s not appropriate to bring toy guns to school either, but they sell them.

    Using common sense here when it comes to our arguments, not just the situation, is necessary too.

    I am sure Andrew can get past this and go on to be a productive member of society. To say that this incident ruins his life is a stretch. Hopefully, because he’s been made into a political pawn, this will not effect his life!

  • Steve T.

    Wow, I’m amazed at how many comments there are in this discussion. I just had a couple thoughts:

    -what Andrew did was wrong. But criminal assault? Do they even know what that means? No one is defending Andrew’s actions- he should be punished. But explusion with criminal charges? That’s downright reminiscent of Singapore.

    I’m also not sure about bringing the case to The View, but knowing Andrew’s father as a decent and honorable man, a Marine, I am pretty sure he felt he had no choice. And I doubt sincerely the Mikels are guilty of bad parenting.

    I’ve certainly made my share of mistakes in this life, we all have. I’m not sure judging this kid so harshly reflects the best of us as a society.

  • Donna

    Think about this….Andrew intentionally took the pellets (let’s make sure we clarify they were not SPITBALLS) to school along with his projectile. Doesn’t matter what the projectile was it’s clearly a violation of school code of conduct. WHY did he take them? He knew without a doubt, since he’s been quoted as a honor student, that if he used them and were caught using them HE WOULD BE IN TROUBLE!!! How about his dad, grandparents and everyone else pleading his case accept responsibility for his actions. You can also be assured that we’re hearing one side of the story. The county school system is not at liberty to release any information regarding the case. You also might ask yourself about his reponse when he was asked to stop. It’s always a good idea to walk in the shoes of the other people on the other side of this. How about the students who were his victims? If you were their parents how would you feel and how would you react. I can tell you from past experience that Mr. Mikel Sr. would be in the news if that were the case also. You are seeing in this case one major problem with our society today. PEOPLE NOT ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS. Going to the newspapers, the View, and the firm in Charlottesville is just absolutely shameful on Mr. Mikel Sr.’s part. You are making a mockery of your son and the situation he created. He needs to be accountable for his actions. It’s very cut and dry for the school system when situations like Andrew’s happen. There are rules in place with resource officers in schools to help and facilitate when these situations happen. It’s just shameful what Mr. Mikel Sr. has made of this situation. Pride goeth before a fall. The only reason this has taken on such a large life is that a father cannot and will not accept that his son is wrong. Then to send your daughter through the school as a spy to see if kids got Andrew’s apology letters? Please!!!! Since the day this happened the lawyers for the school most assuredly told the administration to hand over anything and everything that was a communication from you or your son. This is just a simple case where you don’t like that your child got caught doing something wrong and will go to all lengths to turn this situation around and try and make someone else out to be wrong. Shame on you.

  • Rick

    Perhaps we should consider the student. I think the school is in place to benifit him as well as the other students. The proper administration of disapline is normally of benifit but going to extremes as it has in this case is of benifit to no one including the other students. It is however very distructive to the student involved, is that nessasary? Any school official should be able to handle this type of incident without harming the students involved. If handled properly the student would have been disaplined only to the point of correcting his behavior. That is the goal of disapline.

    How the school administration or the school board can justify thier actions is a mystery to me and highlights thier failure, not the students.

    To the Sherrif’s dept., I will rest so much easier knowing you are ready and available to respond to such dangerous and violent situations. You have failed as well.

  • Donna

    The real crime here is that Andrew’s behavior is now being glorified all through the press as a stand for injustice when it should be used as a punishment for not being responsible for your actions!!

  • jean

    Donna you right. What he use is lighter than a spitwad and was froma toy gun he had years age bought form the toy dept. We have never said was nto wrong in what he did. He got a 10 suspension as well as consequences at home. You can go look hight and low for the rest of the story but there is none. You want to believe there is more because you know the rest of his punishment was excessive. So the Rutherford Lawyers and all the press he has been getting is because they have the whole story and agree that the punishment was excessive. I know there are people no matter what you tell them are just going to be stuck in their mindsets. You are right we should just have a punishment per crime. WE could get rid of all the investigators, lawyers, jury etc. If you speed no matter how much over lose your license. If you murder all should be put to death. But most of us know that it would never work. What kids really read the code of conduct?? I guess you keep missing the point that he was punished. I can only hope you never serve on a jury. I guess you would think hanging would be appropriate punishment for jaywalking just because someone wrote it that way. I have never read that his behavior is being glorified. The attention is on Spotsy HS and the ridiculus actions of the VP and the school board. In case you haven’t heard there has been a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court yesterday to have the excessive punishment overturned.

  • Steve T.

    Donna, I understand where you are coming from. Improper actions should be punished. But this is the equivalent of jail time for jaywalking. Punish it sure, but it’s a matter of severity and here most reasonable people would say the punishment did not fit the misdeed (I am not convinced it was a crime). A suspension might have been more in line, perhaps.

    Don’t forget, kids must also be taught that the world can be fair and reasonable. I am not sure this episode is sending that message. If the world is unfair then rules have no meaning anyway.

  • http://annayeisley.com Anna Yeisley

    There is a pattern in these Zero Tolerance decisions. This Mikel incident is not the only incident that creates concern that the schools are overstepping their authority and abusing it to boot. Something lighter than a spitwad is not a weapon. The boy is not claiming innocence he and his father have expressed regret that Andrew chose to play with that infamous pen and little plastic pellets. Obviously he annoyed someone. But a year’s detention and a visit by the police? This is unnecessarily oppressive reaction reflects a lack of sound judgment; reflecting a maliciousness towards our students that was not exhibited by Andrew himself. I think this should go to trial to show the false witness the school used to make this a bigger issue than it was in order to justify their insane decision and the lack of compassion and common sense they exhibited. Lying and bearing false witness is a bigger crime than foolish non aggressive lunchtime play.

  • Brandy

    Well Jean, I guess your comment says it all! What kid really reads the Code of Conduct?! MY KIDS DO! Each year we go over the Code of Conduct. Each year we’ve signed them together. Believe it or not, it REALLY is IMPORTANT! Maybe that’s the real issue here. No one takes these things seriously until they are on the wrong side of it.

  • Libby

    Brandy,

    Once again. No reasonable person could interpret the section on weapons in the Code of Conduct to include pens or spitballs. Please quote the part of the Code of Conduct that so obviously states that pens or spitballs are weapons, so clear that a 14 year old would understand.

  • Brandy

    Here in lies the trouble…it shouldn’t have to be stated in the Code of Conduct specifically. Any reasonable person should know that when you take common everyday things and use them for unintended purposes it can get you into trouble. That includes 14 year olds. My 14 year old knows better than to be pointing anything let alone shooting anything at anyone, toy or not.
    If you can’t bring a toy gun to school, what makes you think you can bring toy gun pellets into school?
    Again, the debate goes on.

  • Libby

    Brandy,
    Get past the point that the action was wrong, I believe every post agrees with that.
    So a 14 year old can clearly see that shooting a spitball in the Code of Conduct results in criminal charges and expulsion. Give me a break,! I believe it has been stated the kid knows it was wrong, and discipline appropriate to the incident was called for. It is not the incident and appropriate discipline being questioned here, it is the resulting insane punishment that equates a pen casing to a rifle. I think your 14 year old would agree that a pen is not a rifle or shotgun.

  • Brandy

    The punishment is based on what he brought to school. And by the way, continue to read all the posts, some people don’t believe he deserved any punishment because you are all referring to what he had in his possession as spitballs. They weren’t…end of story.
    The point I’m trying to make here is that the Code of Conduct plainly uses the word PROJECTILE…it doesn’t have to be a rifle or shotgun. I wish that all of you would get past THAT point.
    It seems that most agree that the punishment here has been a little excessive, but again, we don’t really know ALL the details, except what the Mikels are telling us.
    Whether or not you agree with the Code of Conduct is irrelevant…it is what it is.
    As far as my child, well, let me just say that even a toy gun is not allowed to pointed at anyone and my children know it. So why would anyone think it’s okay to blow plastic pellets through a pen at people? I wonder what all of you would do if someone stood next to you on the street and just kept pelting you with pellets? Aside from probably beating them to a pulp, I’m thinking the law would be involved.
    Take school out of it and it’s a totally different picture, but it shouldn’t be.

  • Donna

    @Libby, please STOP referring to the plastic pellets as SPITBALLS, they were not spitballs.
    @Bob G from your post on 2/9 at 5:25pm. You checking IP addresses?? REALLY you don’t have anything better to do. Taking pot shots at the teachers, staff and administrators of Spotsy County schools. Are you trying to say they are posting during school time. Why beat around the bush with your comment. Come out and say what you have to say. Do you realize that anyone can hop on Spotsy County’s wifi if they are within range? Hummmm
    @Brandy, I’m thinking like you. A projectile doesn’t have to be a gun or rifle. Andrew Mikel knowlingly and willfully took the projectile along with his pellets to school with the intention to what??? Carry them around in his pocket all day? NO, he took them to use them exactly how he did and got into trouble for it. Face the consequences of your actions. If the victims he shot with the pellets had turned around and decked him, what then??? He didn’t choose victims that would of stood up to him, he chose victims who wouldn’t and he knows that (that my friends is the definition of a bully). My hats off to the victims for telling the administration that is what they should have done. Let the adults handle the situation. With zero tolerance if they would have fought back then they too would have been suspended. Mr. Mikel (dad) has challenged the schools before and lost and I can only hope that happens again. He must like to see his name in print and in the media. He writes enough letters to the editor. He doesn’t like to be pointed out as being wrong. He refuses to accept that he and his son are wrong. Grandmother Mikel also is clueless in her remarks about Andrew’s behavior. I would think that the Naval Academy in Annapolis or wherever he wanted to go is watching this debacle and just shaking their heads. Please remember you’ve only heard one side of the story. When this goes to court, the prior disciplinary reports will be released and it will be a whole new ball game. I’ve been told during a 10 suspension the school has the right to file for an expulsion which is exactly what happened in this case. If my child were one of the victims, you’d have to carry me kicking and screaming away from this situation. Justice would be served. My child deserves to go to school in a safe, bully free environment. Enough said.

  • Donna

    Read the Code of Conduct Page 12. It’s all right there!

  • Libby

    Mr. Mikel did bring an issue up to the school board several years back, you are correct. The issue was that one of his children brought a book home from school that included a 19 year old man having sexual relations with a 15 year old girl. Mr. Mikel thought it a bit inappropriate for young children. It also gave instructions to young girls to “not take your own pants off, but to let the boys do it for you.”

    Shame on him! Yes he lost, and yes the book is still available to young children, including your own Donna.

  • Donna

    @Libby….I disagree totally with your overview of the books. Have you read the books yourself or researched them? I’ve done both and find your opinion way off base. The books are about teen love, loss, death and forgiveness. If you’ve not read or researched the books yourself then you are basing your opinion on someone’s elses and that’s sad. Educate yourself and read the books. “Young children” as you quote……we’re not talking elementary students here the books are clearly marked YA (young adult) ages 12+. If Mr. Mikel thinks that inappropriate for his children….so be it. Tell them not to read it. He’s not in charge of making decisions for other people’s children….thank goodness! Your quote of the book, sorry can’t find it…..or is that just your own summary?

  • Janet

    The boy should have been suspended, but not expelled. I hope his father wins, and schools get a little more balanced. Everybody is just too hyper about violence right now. These are not prisons, where everything can be used as a deadly weapon.

  • Samantha Leininger

    Andrew was a kid in my JROTC class and I dont know if anyone wlse here knows him, but he wasnt as good as everyone sees him but he is also not a bully. I was also on the JROTC drill team with him and he had his pen and a full canister of pellets as well as other projectiles and firing devices. He was constantly using these devices during drill and school hours and I had told him on several occasions to put them away, but obviously he didnt listen. The only reason he is sorry, is because he got caught and he doesnt want his dad to whip his ass. Somebody could have gotten hurt, as a pellet to the eye could cause damage. Andrew made a weapon and continuously assaulted dozens of students and I believe his punishment was fair.