Courts & Crime

Fresno's Central High, students fight over expulsions

Five students expelled from Central High School for cutting down two trees as a senior prank tried to return to class Tuesday morning, only to be turned away by school officials -- which prompted the students' attorneys to call the police.

The showdown near the school's entrance pitted school administrators against the students, their parents, and attorneys Charles Magill and Laura Guzman Magill, who said they had a court order allowing the students to return.

The Magills asked Fresno police to enforce Judge Adolfo Corona's order. They also asked police to arrest an assistant superintendent who wouldn't cooperate.

School officials countered that they have appealed the judge's order, and as long as the case is unresolved, the students can't come back.

In the end, police left without doing anything -- but the dispute is far from over. Now the Magills are going back to court to try to get the judge's order enforced.

The students, meanwhile, are attending the district alternative and adult school in northwest Fresno.

"It was just a prank," said 17-year-old Stephen Morales. He said he regrets cutting down the trees.

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