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An 11-year-old Virginia boy was suspended after school officials found what they believed to be a marijuana leaf in his backpack, Newser.com reported.
The 364-day suspension began last September for alleged marijuana possession and charges were brought up against him in juvenile court.
After several tests were conducted, officials determined the leaves were not marijuana and dropped the juvenile charges against the boy.
While the legal charges against the boy were dropped, the school has not let him off so easy.
Six months after the ordeal began, the boy was allowed to return to a new school and remains on probation.
Linda Bays, the boy’s mother, said the time away from school has turned their easygoing, upbeat child to one who suffers from depression and fears authority figures.
“He just broke down and said his life was over,” Bays said in an interview with the Roanoke Times. “He would never be able to get into college; he would never be able to get a job.”
Bays and her husband Bruce, who are both schoolteachers, have filed a lawsuit against Bedford County Schools and the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple argues the school continued their son’s suspension although the substance field-tested negative three different times.
A school resource officer, Deputy M.M. Calohan, allegedly filed the marijuana possession charges against the boy after tests came back negative.
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in February, was referred to mediation with U.S. Magistrate Robert Ballou.
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