The principal of Bladensburg Senior High School has recommended an extended suspension from school for Terrence G. Johnson, the 15-year-old Bladensburg youth charged with fatally shooting two Prince George's County police officers.
If the recommendation of James V. Foran, the principal, is upheld at a hearing this Friday, Johnson could be kept out of classes until the outcome of his case in court. The school system also could initiate a motion for explusion.
Johnson, who is accused of the June 26 fatal shootings of officers Albert M. Claggert IV and James Brian Swart, was released from jail on $100,000 bond on Oct. 17. His trial, now scheduled for Nov. 13, probably will be postponed until January.
Under Maryland state law, the school system must either allow a student to attend school, provide him with a tutor of take suspension or expulsion action against him if he is under 16.
An extended suspension is one of more than five days and can be appealed by the student's parents to the full Prince George's County Board of Education. Johnson's mother, Helen Johnson, has appealed the recommendation to the area supervisor, Assistant Superintendent G. James Gholson. Without an appeal the suspension is automatic.
Elois Hamilton, head of the Terrence Johnson defense fund, said yesterday that the family plans to appeal the suspension to the board if necessary. But she said she expects to lose the initial appeal Friday.
"Terrence wants very badly to get back to school and we're going to try to at the very least get him some kind of tutor," Hamilton said. "There's no reason for them to keep him away from his studies."
Hamilton said she undertook that Foran had cited a provision in the county school code stipulating that if a student is considered "dangerous" to other students he can be placed on extended suspension.