Buffalo, MO- Last May, a teenager was punished with a lengthy suspension after teachers discovered her folder which contained stories with references to marijuana use. Her father is now speaking out and appealing the school’s decision.
Tom Grayhorse, father of Krystal Grayhorse, told Ozarks First that he was called by Buffalo High School’s assistant principal after staff found Krystal’s folder containing the stories at the school and were “alarmed by the contents of the notebook.”
“She wrote about making out with a boy- well, you know, she’s a teenager- and also about having some pot then eating it and swallowing it at the school,” said Tom Grayhorse. Tom said he has not seen his daughter’s writing for himself, but was told by school officials what had been written. He also said the folder had been confiscated.
Mr. Grayhorse said that paperwork that the school sent home stated that Krystal was suspended for ten days for “possession of a controlled substance” despite no drug testing and no drugs in Krystal’s possession. The original suspension spanned the rest of the school year, but the suspension was later extended to continue through January 2015.
“Her ‘possession’ constitutes writing something?” Tom asked. “That is the alleged possession?”
Dallas County RI-1 superintendent Robin Ritchie said there is a “zero tolerance” policy regarding drug and alcohol related material, although the district’s drug policy posted online provides no specific definition of paraphernalia. Ritchie said that students may be suspended up to 180 days for incidents related to drugs and alcohol.
Ritchie will not discuss the suspension of Krystal Grayhorse explicitly, but she said “If they give a ten day suspension, it comes back to me as the superintendent and then it is my decision to investigate and look back at it to see if an extended suspension is an order.”
Because of her suspension, Tom said he’s worried that the prolonged suspension will negatively impact her daughter, especially as a prospective college student. Krystal would be attending Buffalo High School as a senior this year, but she faces a significant lack of credits. “I asked them [Buffalo High School] about alternate schooling for people that had been suspended and they said they didn’t have it,” said Mr. Grayhorse.
Ritchie said that night classes are available for “credit recovery purposes”.