A former Tuscaloosa City Schools student is suing the school board following his 2022 suspension and discipline.

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CJ, who was a senior at Paul-Bryant High School at the time, was a star baseball player for the school and had aspirations of playing college baseball. After he and his friends arrived at school smelling like weed, however, those dreams were taken from him.

In November 2022, CJ was placed on in-school suspension for two months, disqualified from playing baseball, and then sentenced to alternative schooling for 40 days after police found weed in a car in which CJ was a passenger.

CJ said that the weed did not belong to him, and he simply caught a ride from a friend after missing the bus. Following a police investigation, another passenger in the car was charged with possession.

CJ left the school system to be homeschooled. He took online classes at Riverside Christian Academy and graduated in May 2023.

CJ filed the lawsuit in Tuscaloosa County's juvenile court. It names members of the board of education and Superintendent Mike Daria as the defendants. The lawsuit claims CJ was deprived of his right to education and the school did not present him with the opportunity to defend himself or present evidence.

A due process bill has not been filed for the 2024 legislative session.

The lawsuit requests a reversal of the board's decision on CJ, a correction to his academic record, and for the district to reform its practices and disciplinary policies.

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