Owasso Student Suspended For Fight Off School Property

Wednesday, September 30th 2009, 7:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6

OWASSO, OK -- An Owasso dad is upset his son is being punished by the Owasso school district for getting into trouble off of school property. The 8th grader is serving a three-day suspension after getting into a fight near a convenience store.

The school district says it wants to send a message, but the dad says the school has crossed the line.

"I'm just being used by the school, I guess, and that's not right," said Morgan Burger, an Owasso student.

Morgan Burger spent Wednesday at home instead of at the Owasso 8th Grade Center. He's serving a three-day suspension after getting into a fight last Friday night.

Morgan's father, Bryan Burger admits Morgan should be punished but he's upset the district is involved since the fight took place off of school grounds, across the street at a Kum & Go.

"When do we draw the line when the school can discipline our children and for what reason can they discipline our children," asked Bryan Burger, Morgan's father.

David Hall is the district's assistant superintendent. He says Morgan was suspended because he began the night at the football game and nearly 200 students heard about the fight and went across the street to watch.

Hall says the district was worried that Morgan and the other teen may eventually fight on school property in the future and the suspension is meant to serve as a warning for all of the students who watched.

"When we had 200 students witnessing their fight we wanted to make sure we sent a message to all those students," said David Hall, Owasso Assistant Superintendent.

According to the Oklahoma State School Board Association, a district can punish a student for an incident that takes place off of school property as long as there was a previous connection to the school, in this case the football game.

But that doesn't sit well with Morgan's father, who's just as angry that his son is being punished because the school is worried about a potential fight in the future.

"That's like a police officer pulling me over and going, 'Oh, Mr. Burger here you go, here's a speeding ticket because I know sometime down the street or down the road you're going to speed.' No rational American would put up with that kind of thing and that's what this feels like," said Bryan Burger.

Bryan Burger hopes the Owasso School board takes another look at this policy. Meanwhile, Burger says his son is being punished at home for getting into the fight.