School Board Mulls Over “Daddy Warbucks” Expulsion

The Sun Valley student must serve the remainder of his second 10-day suspension while the Penn-Delco School Board deliberates his expulsion.

The possibility of expulsion remains a very real threat for a Delaware County high school senior this morning.

In February, Samuel Schmucker was kicked out of Sun Valley High School's production of "Annie" and suspended from school after he and the director got into an altercation.

Schmucker was rehearsing for his role as Daddy Warbucks with the rest of the cast when he allegedly grabbed director John Baxter by the shoulder after Baxter had raised his voice at an actress.

Schmucker's aunt, Elizabeth McGlinchey, told NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn 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."

At an expulsion hearing last night, about 75 people came out in support of the teen. The school board voted against allowing Schmucker to return to school while they deliberate his future as a student at Sun Valley High School, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.

His family doesn't dispute the fact that he was wrong in putting his hands on an authority figure, but they don't believe he should be expelled.

"Now he can't go to prom or walk at graduation," McGlinchey said.

The teen, according to his lawyer Steven Shoecraft, is a well-respected student and member of his commmunity. He is Vice President of his class and the recipient of a Citizenship Award from his hometown of Aston.

Baxter says he's had nothing to do with the disciplinary decisions.

"I don't want to see the kid's life ruined, none of his punishment is up to me, but people need to know what happened."

The school board will announce its decision on the expulsion next Wednesday, March 20.

Contact Us