Judge awards former Caddo Parish student $50,000

By Tracy Clemons – bio|e-mail

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)- A court has awarded a former Caddo Parish student thousands of dollars. Justin Christy was a senior at Captain Shreve High School in 2003 when he was expelled for alcohol possession. Wednesday, a judge upheld a previous decision to award him $50,000.

"The truth of the matter was that alcohol had been placed in his book bag by another student," says his attorney John Hammons.

Hammons says Justin didn't know it was there. Another student told the principal the same day that he was telling the truth-"The young man that actually placed the alcohol there came forward. He was the student body president."

Still, Justin was expelled. The suit claimed administrators intentionally acted to harm him by not allowing that student to testify. Caddo Schools' attorney says that claim, and the courts' decision are wrong.

"There is some other evidence in the record that points out that the School Board was aware of the alibi, I call it, that the young man had."

Reggie Abrams says the School Board didn't buy it. He wonders how anyone could have not known there was a fifth of liquor in their book bag. He also says it's interesting that the suit came a year after he was expelled, and without exhausting all options.

"They have, I believe 10 days, to go to district court. District court would have heard this case and could have heard the same evidence, and overturned it or not right then, and then the child could have been back in Captain Shreve, but they chose not to do that," Abrams says.

John Hammons says he hopes the decision brings more than just compensation.

"I hope it results in accountability and responsibility within the Caddo Parish school system."

Reggie Abrams adds Christy could have finished the year at an alternative school, but chose not to.

We're told he got a GED, went on to Bossier Parish Community College, and is now in a physician assistant program at LSU.

Abrams tells KSLA News 12 he plan to take one more crack at the case.

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