Appeals court rules in favor of expelled Richland 2 student

The S.C. Court of Appeals has upheld a lower ruling reversing the Richland 2 School District's decision to expel a 14-year-old Blythewood Academy student on allegations she committed a sexual offense with a boy.

Chief Judge Kaye Hearn, writing for the three-member panel, said the School Board didn't have "substantial evidence" that the girl, who was identified in the ruling only as "Jane Doe," committed the offense. The girl was seen on a video entering a boy's bathroom; she told authorities she went into the restroom only to retrieve a comb a male student had taken from her, the ruling said.

The girl appealed her expulsion to a Richland County circuit judge, who ruled in her favor. The school district appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state's second-highest court.

Richland 2 spokeswoman Theresa Riley this morning said she was unaware of the ruling and didn't have an immediate comment.

-- Rick Brundrett