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Federal judge dismisses Penn Hills student's civil rights lawsuit

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Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 6:58 p.m.

Linton Middle School didn't expel a former student when he was assigned to alternative education, and the due process and unsupported racial discrimination claims by the student and his mother aren't enough to sustain a civil rights lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab ruled Friday in dismissing the lawsuit.

Zyion Handburgh, then 13, and his mother, Michelle Berish of Penn Hills, sued the Penn Hills School District in November. They claimed Principal Shaun Cooke effectively expelled Handburgh in October after he disrupted a math class.

The district argued that Cooke never expelled Handburgh but suspended him for two days and assigned him to alternative education. Cooke also met with Berish several times to discuss the reassignment, the district said in court documents.

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