A senior barred from Goshen High School after his MySpace Web page was used to threaten other students still intends to graduate.

Hector E. Varela said he was told by school officials he would not be allowed on school property for one year, meaning he can’t attend the prom or graduation. Varela said he believes the punishment was unfair because he was not responsible for the threats.

But, he added, “I understand where they’re coming from.”

Another student, a 16-year-old boy, was charged with intimidation in connection with the threats posted about two weeks ago, said Bill Wargo, chief investigator with the Elkhart County prosecutor’s office. He did not release the boy’s identity.

That student also faced disciplinary action, said Jim Kirkton, the school principal. He would not say whether that student also was barred from school grounds.

“They’re totally different kids with different needs,” he said. “Neither kid was cut loose. They are still moving ahead and getting what they need from school.”

Wargo said prosecutors did not file charges against Varela because “there was insufficient information in the Goshen police reports and investigation to sustain a formal charge.”

Varela said he expects to complete his high school credits by mid-June through a program in which students do online tutorials and service learning projects. He plans to attend Goshen College in the fall.

“It was worked out so his future is in front of him,” Kirkton said.



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