By Steve Elliott
An 11-year-old sixth grader in Virginia has been suspended from school for 364 days after being caught with a leaf that wasn't even marijuana.
It happened last September to the son of Bedford County residents Bruce and Linda Bays, reports Dan Casey at The Roanoke Times. Their son was enrolled in the gifted-and-talented program at Bedford Middle School.
Months after the fact, the couple learned that the leaf wasn't marijuana. A prosecutor dropped the juvenile court charge because the "pot leaf" had field tested negative -- three times.
The boy finally got to return to a different school, separate from his friends and peers, on Monday, under "strict probation," but the events of the past six months have wreaked havoc on the formerly happy-go-lucky boy's psyche, according to his parents. They say he's withdrawn socially and is now under the care of a pediatric psychiatrist for panic attacks and depression.
The terms of his suspension letter state that he'll be searched for drugs a the beginning and end of every school day until his probation is over, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.