PORTLAND, Ore. — The family of a Portland high school cross country runner is suing the school district over the decision to suspend their son earlier this month for an alcohol violation.
Haven Riffel is one of Grant High School’s top cross country runners.
His parents said that his 28-day-suspension from school activities is preventing him from finishing the cross country season and could cost him college scholarships.
According to the lawsuit, Riffel’s family argues the school district didn’t give him the chance for legal representation at a disciplinary hearing earlier this month, a violation of the district’s own policy.
The district says it can’t get into the specifics of Riffel’s case, but says all student-athletes know of the suspension policy for alcohol or drug use.
“If we were to move this rule at all, it would lose its impact,” said Christine Miles of Portland Public Schools. “I think, in this case, it’s just a tough situation for the students, the parents and the faculty.”
The family wanted a temporary restraining order to let Riffel run the rest of the fall season.
The Portland Interscholastic League district race was held Wednesday and Riffel did not compete, therefore did not have a chance to qualify for the 6A state championship meet in Eugene on Oct. 31.
KGW reached out to the runner’s attorney for comment, but did not hear back.
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