- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A student suspended last month after he was involved in a fight that left another student dead won’t return to an Iowa high school but will instead be reassigned to an alternative school, district administrators said.

The 16-year-old was suspended Sept. 25 from Abraham Lincoln High School after punching a 17-year-old student, who hit his head on the floor and died days later, The Daily Nonpareil reported (http://bit.ly/1rTH995 ). Authorities said the 16-year-old wouldn’t be charged because he was justified in his use of force to defend himself.

The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes. A Pottawattamie County attorney said an initial assault charge against him would be dropped in juvenile court.

Once the student’s suspension is lifted, he’ll report to the Kanesville Alternative Learning Center. The suspension can last up to 10 days without the approval of the school board, according to the district’s code of conduct. Attorney Chad Primmer said he expects his client will attend the alternative school Oct. 9.

Primmer said the student is disappointed by the Council Bluffs Community School District decision to reassign him and doesn’t think it’s a reasonable solution. He said the district is missing an opportunity to teach students that “we just don’t avoid difficult situations.”

The student will challenge the district’s decision, Primmer said.

Diane Ostrowski, the district’s chief communications officer, said school officials have the right to reassign a student. Ostrowski said the student will complete his regular coursework at the alternative school.

Superintendent Martha Bruckner said Wednesday, before school officials made their decision, that the student returning to Abraham Lincoln High School after his suspension wouldn’t be in his best interest.

“We do not want to expel this young person,” she said. “The primary reason we would consider not having him back at his school at this particular point of time is it would probably be a significant distraction to him, to other students and to the school as a whole.”

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

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