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Girl expelled for journal entry changes school

From Deanna Hackney
CNN

Rachel Boim was expelled from school after writing a fictional account of a student who falls asleep in class and dreams of killing a teacher.
Rachel Boim was expelled from school after writing a fictional account of a student who falls asleep in class and dreams of killing a teacher.

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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A 14-year-old student disciplined for writing a fictional account of a student who falls asleep in class and dreams of killing a teacher is moving to another school, her father told CNN Thursday.

Rachel Boim will no longer be attending Roswell High School, in a suburb north of Atlanta, because it would be too much for her to cope with, David Boim said.

The father did not say where Rachel will attend, saying his daughter needs to put this situation behind her and "just be a 14-year-old girl" and "live the life of a regular 14-year-old," Boim said.

Susan Hale, Fulton County Schools spokeswoman, said the school administration wishes her well and "wants what's best for the student" so she can have a fresh start.

Rachel was expelled last week from Roswell High School under the Fulton County School District's "zero tolerance" policy.

She was then permitted to attend school Monday while officials reconsidered the disciplinary action.

"Rachel went on Monday, she stayed home on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we officially withdrew her," David Boim said. "She is having a very difficult time dealing with the expulsion, with all the media attention. She is just a 14-year-old girl."

The girl wrote the story in her personal journal and was showing it to a classmate. Her art teacher noticed, confiscated it, read it and turned it over to school officials the next day. Rachel said the writing was strictly a work of fiction and not intended as a threat.

Rachel was negatively affected by the way the school handled her removal, her father said.

"[She was removed] from her second-period biology class -- with an armed officer," Boim said. "They had the option of calling us, of asking us to come in with Rachel to talk about the situation, but instead they had an armed guard take her out of class."

When asked about Rachel being escorted out of her classroom by an armed guard, Hale said that is not an uncommon process, and the guard could have been acting as an escort rather than responding to a perceived security threat.

"We do have, at all of our high schools and middle schools, a guard and they are armed. It is not uncommon to provide an escort to the student when they are pulled out of class, and it's not necessarily for security reasons," Hale said.

After her suspension, Rachel fell behind academically, and her father said the hearing on the matter, the expulsion and the extensive media coverage proved stressful for her.

"You can imagine," he said. "This is a lot for an adult. Imagine what it's like for a teenager."

Hale noted that Rachel always had the opportunity to switch schools, saying that she was expelled only from Roswell High and could have immediately resumed her studies at any other county high school.

A pre-school conference was set up between administrators and Boim's parents to assure that everything would go smoothly for Rachel's return on Monday, Hale said.

"I understand it was a very normal school day," Hale said. "She was greeted by her friends. Everything went well."


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