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Belleville School Board expels students charged in attack

By St. Louis Public Radio

Belleville, Ill. – The Belleville Township School Board in has expelled two students accused of attacking another student on a school bus last week.

The incident was captured by a security camera on the bus and received widespread attention.

Board president Curt Highsmith said expelling kids is regrettable, but he wanted to send the message that such behavior is intolerable. The expulsions were the most severe punishments the school board could hand out.

Police initially said the attack was racially motivated but later backtracked, saying it was bullying. The 17-year-old victim is white. The alleged attackers are black.

One suspect - who's 14 - pleaded not guilty. He was released to his father and placed on a 24-hour curfew. The other suspect, 15, turned himself in Monday.