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Charleston student refuses to write punishment essay

CHARLESTON (AP) — A former Charleston school student who used the N-word in a Twitter message has refused to write a 500-word punishment essay ordered by the county school board.

Ashley Patrick has obtained a temporary restraining order against the Charleston County School Board so she does not have to write the essay, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported. The school board had told her to present the paper this week.

The former student at the School of Arts used the word about a black classmate earlier this year.

Patrick complied with the local school district’s five-day suspension and performed 20 hours of community service and has graduated. Her lawyer says Patrick has apologized.

County School Board Vice Chairman Craig Ascue says Patrick should write the essay.

“We wanted her to reflect on this whole ordeal. It’s sad that she hasn’t taken advantage of that opportunity do what was asked,” Ascue said

Patrick’s attorney, Dwayne Green, said the county school board does not have the authority to make a non-student do anything.

Ascue says the county board told Patrick to write the paper while she was still a student.

Patrick has filed a lawsuit contending the county school board did not have the authority to overrule the local school board. It also says there was no proper notice on a hearing on the matter.

She wants her school records cleared of an intimidation charge, and she wants the district to reimburse her legal fees.

“She’s really happy to be moving forward with her life, but she knows this still needs to be resolved,” Green said.



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