An Ohio teen is facing expulsion after he says he was wrongfully accused of smelling like marijuana.
Jordan Evans, a former student at Northmont High School in the Dayton suburb of Clayton, Ohio, was drug tested twice after his teachers claimed he came to school reeking of weed, local station WGRT reports. Evans said he was subjected to a search and although it turned up nothing, he was still suspended and later expelled.
“The principal made me take everything out of my pockets and made me take off my shoes as well as pull up my sweatpants,” he recalled, adding,” She didn’t find anything at all. I didn’t have anything at all.”
The 10th grader said he felt targeted and argued that administrators should’ve handled things differently.
“They could’ve smelled other [students], but they picked me,” he added. “I told them it couldn’t be me who smelled like weed.”
The incident unfolded last Wednesday when a teacher reportedly smelled the drug on Evan’s person. According to a suspension notice, multiple staff members also smelled the stench, leading to the teen’s suspension.
Northmont’s student Code of Conduct explicitly states that “Marijuana on breath or person” is a violation carrying a 10-day suspension and possible expulsion.
Evan’s mother, Katina Cottrell, came up to the school to try and prove her son’s innocence. Cottrell, a registered nurse, says she performed a drug test on her son in front of school officials, and even took Jordan to urgent care for a second test later that day. The results? Cottrell says both were negative.
Cottrell told WGRT she suspects her son is being discriminated against. The incident comes amid a concerted push by the district to increase diversity while improving relationships between white teachers and Black students. School data shows Northmonth’s student body is mostly white — 65 percent to be exact — and 24 percent of students are Black.
“The long term goals is to improve what we’re doing with students of color as far as relational things, making sure we aren’t doing things that are subjective and we’re following all protocol,” said Equity Fellows Director Michael Carter, who was hired by the district in 2018 to train staff on cultural awareness.
The district has declined to comment specifically on Evans’ expulsion, citing privacy laws, but said it “provides all students considered for suspension or expulsion an opportunity to speak against possible discipline.”
The 10th grader said he’s been out of school a little over a week and his grades are already suffering. His mother has since retained a lawyer, with a hearing set for Thursday.
Atlanta Black Star reached out to Northmont High leadership for comment and is awaiting a response.
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