School plans to fight student's allegations

Wednesday, November 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Union Public Schools says it intends to fight a lawsuit filed by a student who claims she was suspended after being labeled a witch.

Superintendent Cathy Burden says no students are punished for their religious beliefs. Burden says she has no reason to believe Brandi Blackbear's case was not handled according to district policies.

Blackbear's lawsuit alleges numerous rights violations tied to two suspensions.

Blackbear, now a tenth-grader, says she was suspended for 15 days last December after allegedly being accused by school officials of being a witch and casting a hex on a teacher. She says she doesn't practice the Wicca religion.

As an eighth-grader, Blackbear says she was suspended after school officials, acting on rumors of a possible gun, allegedly searched her backpack in a locker and seized a short story she had written. The story contained a reference to a student carrying a gun on a bus.