- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Helena school board has voted to expel three 13-year-olds charged with the arson of a high school that officials say caused close to $3 million in damage and canceled classes for two days.

The Independent Record reports (http://bit.ly/2iDVrO0 ) that the unanimous vote to expel the two girls and one boy for one year came Wednesday.

Helena Public Schools interim Superintendent Jack Copps says the decision was in the best interest of all the district’s students. He says the expelled students will have to petition to re-enroll in the district following the one-year period.

The 13-year-olds were suspended from Helena Middle School following the Nov. 7 arson of Helena High School. They are scheduled for court appearances in March.

The fire damaged nine classrooms and caused flooding after a pipe burst.

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Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com

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