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Parent, student win appeal on school fighting cases
Kids will return to Bradwell and Liberty County High
Liberty BoE 1
The Liberty County Board of Education office is at the corner of Bradwell Street and Memorial Drive. - photo by File photo

CORRECTIONS: Sunday 8/25/2019 3:09 p.m.

The Georgia Board of Education has made a decision on a case that involved a fighting incident March 21 at Bradwell Institute.

Liberty County parent Courtney Hernandez, had always maintained that her daughter was allegedly assaulted by a group of girls on a school bus ramp at Bradwell March 21. The fight resulted in the expulsion of eight students, including Hernandez’s daughter.  Hernandez said the Liberty County Board of Education, held a hearing and, based on the tribunal officer's decision her daughter was expelled from BI until January 2020, and was told to be enrolled at the alternative school Horizons Learning Center. 

Late Friday afternoon the Coastal Courier received an email from Hernandez which said that the state Board of Education had reversed the decision by the LCSS.

"It was reversed upon initial review by State BOE," Hernandez said. "Liberty County did not follow Georgia Law concerning self-defense and her case was found to be a case in which self-defense was proven but ignored at the initial tribunal hearing and subsequently at the local appeal."She will be returning to Bradwell as the state determined she was defending her self and the local BOE did not consider it."

Hernandez said that the state BOE also heard two other Liberty County cases Friday.

Those cases involved an altercation which happened at Liberty County High School. Three students filed appeals with the state after the LCSS also expelled students who claimed they acted in self-defense.

In the case of RB versus Liberty, the state BOE remanded that the case be heard again at the local level. Hernandez said the LCSS did re-hear the case but upheld their decision, "So this again will be appealed to the state."

The two other cases, cases GW vs Liberty County BOE and TF vs Liberty County BOE, were remanded back Friday with special instructions for further review similar to RB vs Liberty County due to local Board neglecting to review the self-defense claim and defense of others claim. These students will have their cases heard again locally on the on Aug. 27, to allow for the local Board to review self defense and defense of others claim.

The Courier will reach out the the local BOE for comments on the decisions. This story was corrected to reflect that only one case was reversed by the state and only one student will be allowed to return to school.

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See the state BOE Decisions on each case here:

Signed Decision - Case No. 2019-36 ADA
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