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Last updated 5:25PM ET
March 8, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Student Accused In Plot To Attack Teacher Fights Expulsion
(2007-08-31)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - A student accused of using his cell phone to videotape an assault on a Murphy High School teacher by a classmate should be allowed back in class, a Mobile City Council member says.

Dominick Harris, 17, was expelled following the May 18 attack that injured English teacher Melinda Rudesill in a school hallway. Another student, Randolph Parker, 16, is accused of punching the 61-year-old teacher in the face.

Though juveniles, their names were released because they were charged as adults. If convicted of the second-degree assault charge, they could be sentenced to one to 10 years in prison.

In a letter to the Mobile County school board, City Council member Fred Richardson questioned the justification for expelling Harris.

Richardson said Harris did not know that Parker would hit Rudesill, believing Parker would only squirt the teacher with water. Richardson said other students had the same advanced knowledge and gathered to watch.

Richardson has already helped Harris' mother get her younger twin daughters back in school at Murphy, even though Murphy Principal Doug Estle wanted them transferred to prevent others from retaliating against them.

Estle said he was strongly opposed to Harris' return to Murphy or any other regular high school.

"There's not going to be a teacher on my staff or in any other school in the system that's going to feel safe if we allow a student who was part of a planned attack that caused severe physical and emotional harm to return," the principal told the Press-Register for a story Thursday.

Schools Superintendent Harold Dodge said the system has not acted on Richardson's request. School board President Judy Stout said any action is up to Dodge.

Estle said the system expelled Harris July 24.

Harris should complete his education, Estle said, but not in a regular school. Expelled students are often referred to an alternative school, such as the Phoenix Alternative Program or POINTE Academy.

Richardson said Harris' mother asked him to get involved in the case.

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Information from: Press-Register, http://www.al.com/mobileregister
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