ST. LOUIS – Clara Holmes will finally get the chance to defend what she calls an honest mistake her 16-year-old daughter made that left her suspended from Clyde C. Miller Academy in St. Louis.
“A knife is bad. A gun, a Taser gun is bad, a glock, all that stuff is bad. But mace is not that bad to me,” Holmes said.
Her daughter carries mace when she rides the bus home at night from work. She forgot it in her bag accidentally, taking it to school with her where mace is prohibited from campus.
“They could have easily kept it at the door or gave me a phone call because she’s a straight-A student and she’s been going to that school for three years,” Holmes said.
The mistake resulted in a 10-day suspension. But the appeal date comes after the fact.
“The hearing is set for November the 15th. Why is that set past the 10-day suspension? The hearing is supposed to be before the 10-day suspension,” Holmes said.
Alderwoman Marlene Davis (19th Ward) said there could have been more counseling or a middle-of-the-road conclusion possibly.
“Ten days! I hope they’re providing her with instruction–classroom instruction–so she can do her work at home because, obviously, this is not a young lady who doesn’t want to succeed,” she said.
Davis served on the St. Louis Public School Board for six years, three of those as its president.
“It’s hard enough for kids to learn as it is with all of the other traumas that they deal with every day,” she said.
Davis said she understands the challenges the school district faces. She also understands the challenges women face daily.
“For a young lady to be riding a bus and be walking home at 10:30 at night, she’s a brave soul and I applaud her because I wouldn’t do it,” Davis said.
Holmes just hopes her daughter’s suspension will be removed from her academic record.
“I just want to clear her name. I’m not worrying about the suspension, I’m not worried about none of that stuff anymore. I just want her name cleared. I don’t want this on her record,” Holmes said.