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Struthers student returns to school

Published: Wed, February 18, 2009 @ 12:05 a.m.

By William k. Alcorn

‘It was not about winning or losing. It was about our son getting back into school,’ said Lennard Burke Sr.

STRUTHERS — Lennard Burke Jr. returned to his Struthers High School classes Tuesday after serving most of a 10-day suspension for possessing in school a muscle-building supplement containing creatine.

A hearing on Burke’s appeal of the suspension was conducted Feb. 11, and the suspension was rescinded and removed from his school record, said his father, Lennard Burke Sr.

The Burkes received a letter Saturday from schools superintendent Robert Rostan with his decision on the appeal to rescind the suspension.

Rostan refused to comment on the matter.

Burke Sr. said a 10-day suspension could have also produced an expulsion from school, but once the suspension was rescinded, the expulsion also came off the table. Burke Jr. began his suspension Feb. 4.

Burke Sr. said there are still some matters regarding the suspension on both sides to work out.

However, he said his son “went back to school quietly” Tuesday.

“It was not about winning or losing. It was about our son getting back into school. We’re just glad it’s over,” Burke Sr. said.

In the hearing, Burke Sr. said, the issue came down to where the supplement was confiscated from his son, which was in the gym locker room where Burke Sr. said there was no sign banning creatine. The sign was only in the weight room, he said.

The substance confiscated from Burke Jr., 15, by a gym teacher was Creakic Hardcore, a product of MuscleTech.

Burke Sr. said his fight with the school district had nothing to do with the teachers or the school’s authority to set and enforce rules.

“We love our teachers. There are great teachers in the Struthers schools,” he said.

Burke Jr., who is a football player and member of the school’s show choir, took his case public after he was suspended. He contended that creatine is neither a drug nor an over-the-counter medicine and not specifically prohibited by the student handbook, which contains the rules that students must follow.



1teacher1994(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

This story disgusts me as a former educator. The kid is a marijuana user and disruptive student, wasting the schools time and money. It is no surprise that learning does not occur in schools with students and parents like this.

The school should have expelled this student. Mr. Fuline was just doing his job. I pity him because the students today are lazy and disrespectful. And, the parents are even worse.

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2Woody(493 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Was he found with marijuana in his possession or under the influence of it? Neither story in this paper mentioned it. Making the claim that you did, I would assume you have proof.

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3E328(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Teacher1994, how do you know that he is a marijuana user and disruptive student? If you're going to bring up things like that, tell us how you know. Are you a former educator who had this student in class recently?
I'm not really sure why they made such a big deal about creatine. You can get it at any GNC. If he was a "disruptive student", perhaps they were looking for ways to suspend him. I'm not saying that's right, but the fact is that schools tend to keep their eyes on the "disruptive" students. If he had the spotlight on him for bad behavior, that's his fault. However, I can't agree that he should have received a 10-day suspension for a substance that isn't prohibited. It isn't a drug or OTC medication. It occurs naturally in the body and people take it as a workout supplement.

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4Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

How about if the parents stop making excuses for their kids and let them learn a lesson for a change? Every time a kid is suspended anymore, the parents are having a hissy fit and trying to get them out of it. Just because the sign was only in the weight room, does not mean that student didnt know the substance was not allowed. They are trying to split hairs and its disgusting. This is why we have an entire generataion of kids with no sense of accountability.

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5shopper(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I have something to say to almost everyone who has commented on this issue. Yes, this student got in trouble in the beginning of the school year. SO WHAT!!! He is NOT a marijuana user!!! He made a mistake and he paid for it, is he suposed to continue paying for it for the rest of his life?! This kid is a good kid and has NEVER been disruptive in school. The student handbook does not ban any type of supplement, it only bans drugs, medications and over the counter medications. Further more the signs that are now posted in the weight room were never there before he was suspended, they were put up after.
As a parent of a high school student, I feel that these parents were just doing what they felt was needed to protect their child from an administration who evedentally put a target on their son's back!!!

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6Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Never been disruptvie huh? So how did he get in trouble at the beginning of the school year then? I think that would qualify as 'disruptive'. Your being a parent of a student gives you ZERO credibility in this - and actually, it gives you less than zero credibility, since parents of kids like this one (and like you) are the reason there are so many kids who cant take responsibility for their actions.

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7henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Getting NASTY in here

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8aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Haha I draw the line here.

Hm, maybe that's why I left Struthers to begin with.

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9JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

"He made a mistake and he paid for it, is he suposed to continue paying for it for the rest of his life?!" I had no idea a 10 day suspension is something one would be saddled with for life.

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10shopper(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

When I made the comment about the mistake he made, I was referring to when he was found with the marijuana. Which by the way does not make him "disruptive". Before that situation (which was not during school only on the grounds) he was never in trouble. I would call that a good kid who make a mistake.
He paid, did his time and stopped hanging around the kids who were getting him in trouble. I guess the administration and some others have an opinion that a kid should be marked as a trouble maker the first time they ever do anything wrong.

Besides that, if you read the article, the suspension was overturned

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11Mimi2BC(147 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

One incident does not a bad child make! This child has been randomly drug tested ever since the incident occurred. I have known these parents for twenty years and was present for this child's birth.... they are not making excuses for him! He faced the consequences for possession of marijuana and it's over. This most recent incident was uncalled for. Based on the comments posted in regards to this child and his parents we should fire the parents from their jobs(last week's story) and this child should be permanently labeled as a "bad kid". It's really easy to sit in judgement when you read a small story in regards to this child. Fortunately, these incidents are a very small part of who these parents are and the great kids they are raising. I can speak from first hand knowledge... the rest of you cannot.

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12saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Still looking for the paragraph in the article that mention's marijuana possession and/or use. Has anyone found it yet? Teacher1994, where are the facts?

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13computer_rick(137 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

So, I'm guessing that all the children of the faculty, who do (or did do) drugs over the years should resign? Place would be a lot emptier... I mean, not thet I EVER partied with anyone from Struthers. Or Poland. Or Boardman. Or Canfield. Who are now Doctors, and Lawyers, and Police Officers, and Teachers themselves. That is what youth is about. You make choices, some regrettable, and hopefully change your ways. I have found more often than not, the ones who partied and got away with it, are now considered pillars of society, paragons of virtue. The ones who got caught, sometimes were treated as pariahs, to the point that their lives became self-fulfilling prophecies. Call a kid bad every day, and by golly, guess what happens? Call a closet toker great every day, and you get a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Teacher (but NEVER a city or county employee...)


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14CassAnn(252 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

teacher1994- pay attention to the issue at hand rather than your personal feelings. Creatine is a supplement- by the FDA's own definition and is not a controlled or illegal substance. In fact, if the school is going to ban supplements, then they must also ban energy drinks and anything else that contains ANY form of supplement. That's overkill in my opinion.
Even if the kid was caught with weed a while ago, you cant pretend the creatine is weed and try to punish him again.

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15Ross(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Struthers High School is a joke. They're just lucky I don't live there anymore. Someone needs to put those idiots in the SHS Administration (Fuline and Meadows in particular) in there place. Dicipline seems to have a higher priority in Struthers than education. It's sickening.

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