Teen asks to walk in graduation after balloon explosion - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Teen asks to walk in graduation after balloon explosion

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JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) - One student is fighting to walk in his graduation after getting expelled for what he thought was a harmless act.

The former Jacksonville High School senior Casey Henderson popped a balloon which ended up being filled with dangerous chemicals and it exploded. Now he's in another school district and will graduation but may miss out on graduation exercises if Troup ISD doesn't get permission from JISD for the teen to walk.

March 26, Henderson was suspended for "misuse of a volatile chemical" . In an incident report, the district only refers to oxygen and gas as the substances involved.

Days later Henderson was expelled and started school in Troup alternative center. Before and if he can walk, JISD will have to overturn the decision and Henderson has to be taken out of the alternative program.

"When you throw your hat it's over with. said Henderson as he thought about his desire to always participate in graduation exercises.

He said he didn't know what was in the balloon when he and his friends were tossing it around. He said another student had actually made the balloon and the others were playing with it. He just happened to be the last student with it when it went off.

"When I got a hold of it I tossed it back to another friend and when it hit the floor ultimately it rose back into the welding booth going off."

Henderson's parents said the district initially told them another boy in the class got hurt, but say that boy and his family wrote a letter saying the boy was fine.

Still the district said things like this are taken seriously.

‘One of things that's taken into account you have to take in the intent, the past history of the person, so any of those different factors are taken into account .

The district can't talk about this case specifically because of student confidentiality.However they said just because a student is expelled that doesn't mean the decision is always permanent.

They said parents can go through an appeals process to get the decision overturned. In Henderson's case, his family said they've filed an appeal several times with no luck.

"About the student that was supposedly injured and that's what they base this discipline on , when the student was not injured," said Henderson's aunt Rebecca Davenport.

Now they hope people in the community will write letter to the district asking to let Henderson walk.

"Yes he made a mistake has he paid yes...he wants to walk I believe he should be allowed to do that," said Henderson's mom Nancy Henderson.

 

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