Student could be expelled over 'Pop-Its'

May 22, 2012 (ROUND LAKE, Ill.)

The girl and four other students in Round Lake were suspended for their actions.

The tiny noisemakers make a loud popping sound when they hit a hard surface or when someone steps on them. They are made for fun but have caused a lot of trouble at John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake.

A female student is accsued of bring a box of Pop-Its on the bus.

"She came on the bus and started passing them out to people on the bus," Ricky said, "and then we were throwing them on the bus, and the bus driver said, 'stop,' and everybody stopped."

Ricky, a couple of his classmates, and the girl who brought the Pop-Its on the bus were among five students disciplined.

The district said the noise could have startled the driver and put everyone on the bus in danger.

Each student received a 10-day suspension, but they were also told they would face a hearing Tuesday to determine whether they should be expelled, from anywhere from one day up to two years.

"Whenever there is anything that we believe endangers the life of other students or of adults in a particular area, then we take a look at what the disciplinary process should be and how far that process should go," said Round Lake District 116 Superintendent Constance Collins.

But, earlier Tuesday, Lori Centeno got a call from the district that Rickey's risk for expulsion is over. He will not face a hearing, and neither will three other students. Their suspensions end Thursday.

"That the decision was made for them to not expel the children, I'm very pleased with that," said Lori Centeno.

Centeno says the one student who does face a hearing Tuesday evening is the who brought the Pop-Its on the bus. The district says, that while the hearing does not guarantee expulsion, it does drive home the point that matters of safety are taken seriously.

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