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Preserving a Bright Future for 15-Year-Old Preston

Client Success

Owing to a Wisconsin school district’s zero tolerance drug policy, a 15-year-old high school student, Preston, was recommended for expulsion after obtaining a joint on school grounds. Preston had few prior infractions, supportive testimony from teachers and family, and wanted to stay in school. “Statistics show many kids never come back after they’re expelled,” explained Husch Blackwell partner Mindi Giftos. “They get into trouble or develop lifestyles that don’t offer bright paths.”

Due to Giftos’ pro bono legal intervention, the board of education altered its policy. Infractions would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Preston returned to school and excelled. He graduated in June 2017 with honors and was accepted into the Scholars of Promise program at Madison Area Technical College. Giftos believes that “communities should be gathering around our children and helping them when they make mistakes, not shutting them out.”


Mindi S. Giftos