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DARYL PORTER v. BOARD SCHOOL DIRECTORS CLAIRTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL. (06/10/82)

decided: June 10, 1982.

DARYL PORTER, A MINOR, BY MELBA PORTER, PARENT AND NATURAL GUARDIAN, AND MELBA PORTER, PARENT, APPELLANT
v.
THE BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF THE CLAIRTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Daryl Porter, a minor, by Melba Porter, parent and natural guardian, and Melba Porter, parent v. The Board of School Directors of the Clairton School District, the Clairton School District, Joseph M. Scarlato, President of the Board of School Directors of the Clairton School District, Hyman Haffner, Superintendent of the Clairton School District, and DeWayne Jeter, Principal of the Clairton Senior High School of the Clairton School District, No. SA 303 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Eugene A. Lincoln, for appellant.

Ira Weiss, Goldman, Weiss & Gross, for appellees.

Judges Rogers, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 149]

Daryl Porter appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County affirming the action of the Board of School Directors of the Clairton School District expelling him from the Clairton Senior High School on account of his involvement in an altercation following an interscholastic basketball game in the evening of February 12, 1980.

A hearing was conducted by an examiner on March 3, 1980, at which time Daryl, the high school principal and the superintendent of schools, an adult eyewitness to the incident, and a number of student participants testified. On the basis of this testimony the examiner found that Daryl, then a seventeen-year-old high school sophomore, left the basketball game before its conclusion, found and then secreted in nearby foliage a number of boards or pickets, challenged as they left the game three high school seniors with whom Daryl had earlier that evening engaged in verbal sparring and, when the challenge was accepted, wielded the pickets as weapons in a brawl that eventually encompassed a large number of students and a geographic area of several city blocks. During the fracas Daryl struck a fellow student, Mark Pazo, in the hand causing two fractures. In his testimony Daryl conceded the occurrence of these events and further testified that he also struck Mr. Pazo in the face with a picket and, at a later point when Mr. Pazo was lying on the ground, kicked him in the head. Daryl's testimony, in part, was as follows:

A: So, I left third quarter. When I was going out the door, Perkins stopped me, and he said, you don't got no chance with this boy. So, I said, I ain't worried about it.

So, I went outside and I was walking down -- I can't think of the name of the street -- and I found a stick.

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 150]

So, I went back, and I stuck them in the weeds. So, after the game Eric came out with Pazo and a few other people, and he had off his coat.

Q: Why did you get this stick and put it in the weeds?

A: Because I thought if I had a stick, I didn't think we was going to fight, and if we did fight, I had a chance.

Q: Were you ...


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