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January 17, 2010
Expelled After Hunting - 135
by Gerry Bethge
From News 10 in Sacramento :
WILLOWS, CA - A 17-year-old Willows student will have the National Rifle Association behind him when he appeals his expulsion from school for having a shotgun in his pick-up truck.
Like many youngsters his age, Gary Tudesko likes to hunt. "I hunt ducks, geese, all types of waterfowl," said Tudesko.
But last October, his recreational pursuits landed him in trouble at Willows High School.
"I went hunting before school, me and my friend, and I didn't want to be late so I parked off campus at my school," Tudesko said.
Tudesko was in class when he was called to the principal's office. He soon learned why.
"They brought in a private sniffing dog and it alerted on my truck and they found the guns," Tudesko said. The weapons belonged to Tudesko and his friend.
Claiming he was a danger to himself and other students, Tudesko was suspended and eventually handed a year-long expulsion.
His mother, Susan Parisio, said, "What happened to him wasn't right," Tudesko's mother Susan Parisio said.
Parisio said it's an important distinction that her son's truck was parked on a public street. "I asked the police and the district attorney's office if he did anything wrong and they said no," Parisio said.
However, school officials disagreed. They told Parisio state law gives them "the right to search any of the student's vehicles no matter where they're parked or what they're doing during school hours," she said.
The NRA came to Tudesko's aid, saying school officials are misinterpreting the law. An NRA lawyer plans to be by Tudesko's side when he appeals his expulsion Tuesday at the Glenn County Office of Education at 10 a.m.
Tudesko said he's eager to return to Willows High and graduate on time with his class.
"I'm thinking about going into to some type of law enforcement," Tudesko said.