A Delaware County school board expelled a teen actor who got into an altercation with his director while playing Daddy Warbucks in the musical Annie.
By a 6-3 vote the Penn-Delco School Board voted Wednesday night to kick Sun valley High School senior Sam Schmucker out of school. The honor student is accused of grabbing his director during an argument last month.
He told the board last week that he got into the altercation with director John Baxter after his girlfriend complained to him about something he said. Schmucker says he grabbed Baxter by the shirt and yelled at him, according to the Delaware County Times.
Schmucker's aunt, Elizabeth McGlinchey, told NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn last week that Baxter had been verbally abusive towards the students during play practice for weeks.
Her nephew, she says, was only standing up for his friend and fellow castmates when he grabbed the director.
Baxter, however, has a very different story.
He says that the claim of his verbal abuse is a "complete lie," attesting that this particular incident was the first time in the six weeks of rehearsals that he had raised his voice. The reason for his yelling? An actress with an attitude problem.
"Has no one ever yelled at a student with an attitude problem? I was not strict enough..." Baxter told NBC10. "...It took me six weeks to call one of them out on it."
Baxter stands by his actions.
"What you have here is the popular student did something wrong and all the kids will stand up for him without knowing the facts."
Relatives argued passionately at the hearing that expulsion wasn't warranted and might hurt Schmucker's chances of getting into college.
“His SAT scores would qualify him for UCLA or MIT,” his mother Monica Schmucker told the Delco Times. “Instead, we were told by someone at West Chester University that they would rip up his application (if he was expelled). He’s a teenager. They make mistakes. And because of this split-second mistake, there’s no college, there’s no school. This is his legacy.”
Schmucker's attorney vows to challenge the expulsion in court.