Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County in the case of Deborah E. Katzman, a minor, by her parents and natural guardians, Ronald M. Katzman and Marjorie C. Katzman v. Cumberland Valley School Board of Directors, No. 571 Civil, 1983.
Richard C. Snelbaker, Snelbaker, McCaleb & Elicker, for appellant.
James W. Evans, Goldberg, Evans & Katzman, P.C., for appellees.
Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 475]
Cumberland Valley School District (District) appeals here alleging error in a decision of the Common Pleas Court of Cumberland County holding improper the action of the Board of School Directors of the Cumberland Valley School District (Board) in reducing for disciplinary reasons the earned marks of a high school student, Deborah E. Katzman (Debbie), and ordering her "grades for the second marking period of the 1982-83 school year readjusted to reflect the marks she actually earned."
The parties agree that this case is one of first impression in this Commonwealth. Simply stated, we are asked to determine the legality of the grade reduction policy as administered here by the Board.
The facts are undisputed.
On December 3, 1982, Debbie, an eleventh grade student at Cumberland Valley High School. while on a field trip to New York City with her Humanities Class, joined four other students in ordering and drinking a glass of wine in a restaurant. When questioned later by school authorities she admitted the incident whereupon she was suspended for five days,
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 476]
excluded from classes, expelled from the cheer leading squad, prohibited from taking part in school activities during the five days' suspension period and was later permanently expelled from the National Honor Society. Under the District's disciplinary policy a further penalty of grade reduction was imposed. This policy is stated as follows:
Suspension and Expulsions . . .
6240.9d Reduce grades in all classes two percentage points for each day of suspension. The grades are to be reduced during the marking period when the in-school or out of school suspension occurred. In lieu of a two percentage point reduction the student may be assigned to a supervised Saturday work ...