Girl Takes Shower With Boys. Boys Punished, Too
No, Go For Shower Girl
There are only 16 students in the graduating class at Powers High School and Leslie Shorb was the choice for valedictorian at Friday's graduation.
She won't be delivering that speech, following a judge's ruling Thursday saying that the school is within its rights in taking her title away because she jumped into a shower naked, with five boys.
That was in the boys' locker room at the high school in April. Shorb's lawyers say her punishment – suspension, and loss of her valedictorian title - is excessive.
It's possible more legal action may be in the works.
The Powers School District had argued in court that even though a 10-day suspension and loss of her title may have seemed harsh, the punishment was well within the school district's authority.
"It is a matter involving a very smart girl who made a very irresponsible decision to play a prank that she knew was wrong and that she knew would be sanctioned if the school found out," Barron wrote.
"Shorb was willing to take the risk because she thought her conduct would be funny," the judge wrote. "Unfortunately she underestimated the extent of the consequences."
Barron added that people often learn valuable lessons from negative experiences and unless school officials go beyond the law, they have great latitude in disciplining students.
One of Shorb's lawyers, Patricia Hinrich, said she was disappointed in the ruling.
But Hinrich said the judge appeared to leave open the possibility of further legal efforts to restore Shorb's valedictorian title, even though she said they would be too late to allow her to speak at Friday's graduation.
Hinrich added that she was still concerned that the boys who joined her in the shower were not disciplined as severely.
"She worked hard for seven semesters and it's wiped away in a five-minute shower," Hinrich said. "It doesn't seem fair. It just doesn't make sense."
Shorb said Wednesday that, win or lose, she just wanted to get on with life.
If she could give the address, she said she told the audience, "This is a group of 16 bright young kids and they'll do fine in life."
And if she had it all to do over again, Shorb said she would rather skip it, despite being interviewed on national television shows.
"I'm just going to carry on with life: go to school, get a job, get a house and make a family."
Shorb, who earned the valedictorian title with a 3.88-grade point average, also was barred from a school prom and a senior trip to Mexico.
On Wednesday, she testified that her decision last April to go into the boys' locker room, strip naked, and go into the shower where she was joined by five boys after physical education class, was nothing more than a spring-fever prank.
"There was no reason besides I thought it would be funny," Shorb testified. "I don't know. Something to do, I guess."