Two Bethesda eighth-graders suspended from school for writing stories and selling a magazine that school officials said was obscene and libelous will be allowed to return to their school, Montgomery School Superintendent Edward Andrews said yesterday.
The decision by Andrews reversed an earlier decision made by school officials to transfer Peter Weinberg and Jesse Oppenheimer, both 13, from Westland Intermediate to another junior high school. The students were suspended April 12 by Westland Principal H. Benjamin Marlin shortly after he saw a copy of the magazine, called The Radical Establishment. It included two articles written by the boys describing the imagined sexual proclivities of Marlin and another teacher.
"Were it not that our primary purpose is to provide continuity in education for young people, I would uphold the principal's recommendations to transfer these students," Andrews said yesterday. Andrews said the boys must meet four conditions to return to school: write a letter of apology; perform school service; study libel and obscene case law, and refrain from any extra-curricular activities.
The boys' parents were incorrectly quoted in The Washington Post yesterday as saying they did not dispute that the magazine was libelous or obscene. Peter Weinberg's father said yesterday the boys had written a "satire that was not intended to be obscene or libelous or malicious."