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Preps Suspended Over Hand-Signals Photo Get to Play

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Copyright 2014 Journal Sentinel Inc.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)

Two Sheboygan Falls High School basketball players suspended for their hand signals in a photo took to the court Friday night after their one-game suspension was lifted by a school committee.

The two African-American brothers, Jordan and Juwaun Jackson, were suspended from the game this week after school officials believed they were displaying gang signs in a photo published in a Sheboygan newspaper. The boys say they were simply demonstrating a popular hand signal for a successful threepoint shot duplicated by many famous players.

The students' parents asked for a hearing on the suspension. The hearing was held Friday afternoon behind closed doors.

The ACLU of Wisconsin also asked for reinstatement and said it was investigating the case.

District Administrator Jean Born said Friday after the hearing that she could not make any comment on the students or the suspension because student records are protected by law.

ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said Friday he learned that the suspension had been lifted and the two boys would play from a Facebook posting by the boys' mother, Lisa Jackson.

"She said the decision had been reversed and they will play tonight," he said.

"We're pleased, but our investigation is continuing, and we have made open records request from the district. We're not done with this," Ahmuty said.

The ACLU has asked for information about several of the school's policies.

"We believe you may have engaged in the kind of biased discipline recently condemned by Attorney General Eric Holder," Ahmuty wrote to Born in a letter.

The letter said the ACLU of Wisconsin will investigate the school's efforts to comply with existing state law and new federal guidelines, which discuss "exclusionary discipline practices which disproportionately impact students of color." The siblings transferred to Sheboygan Falls High this year from Sheboygan South.

Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Copyright, 2014, Journal Sentinel, All Rights Reserved.

 

January 19, 2014

 

 
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