AUBURN — An Auburn High School student who had been kicked off the Auburn boys basketball team after being accused of vaping in school has been reinstated, along with another unnamed athlete who had been removed from a different team earlier this year.
Al Brown said the school district superintendent informed him Wednesday that his stepson, senior Majesty Wilder, will be able to resume practicing Wednesday and playing in his team's remaining games. A sectional home playoff game is scheduled for Friday night.
Brown had complained to the district that his stepson's removal from the team following an incident Feb. 6 was unfair punishment. He had argued that Wilder denied he had been vaping when a teacher discovered a vapor cloud in a bathroom last week. Wilder and two other students were inside the bathroom at the time.
Brown also questioned the handling of other cases in which athletes may have violated the district's conduct code but did not receive the same punishment.
Going into Tuesday night's board of education meeting, where Brown spoke about his concerns, the district's had not reversed its decision to remove Wilder from the team.
But in a closed-door executive session in which specific students and staff were discussed, school board members concluded that there are inconsistencies between the district's overall conduct code and the athletic code of conduct regarding vaping prohibitions, Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said Wednesday. In addition to reinstating Wilder, the district is allowing another student to return to a different team.
"The relative language in the co-curricular code was somewhat ambiguous," Pirozzolo said. "We wanted to resolve the ambiguities in the students' favor."
The district now plans to work on updating language in the codes in time for the start of the spring sports season, and it will take a more comprehensive look at the need for more substantive changes in the spring.
Brown said he was also told that board members decided Wilder had been punished enough. The senior missed two regular season games and served a full day of in-school suspension last week.
"I just want to thank the superintendent and the board for hearing my points out," Brown said. "Majesty's really, really happy."