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October 22- Casting Spell Sends Student Home

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A 15-year-old girl was briefly suspended from school for
casting a spell on a fellow student.

Jamie Schoonover acknowledges she practices witchcraft, as does her mother,
but both say Jamie would never cast an evil spell on anyone, even if she knew
how.

``Casting a spell isn't something that just any novice is going to know how to
do,'' said Colleen Harper, a transsexual who was Jamie's biological father and
now calls herself her mother.

``If she ever were to cast any spells, it would be along the lines of wishing
prosperity on someone or healing someone,'' Harper said.

According to Jamie, she and some friends were sitting beneath a tree at
Southwestern High School on Tuesday when they noticed the names of other girls
scrawled on a wall. One of the friends wanted to cross out the names, so Jamie
lent her a correction fluid pen.

The friend crossed out the names, then wrote, ``Is life a virtue of death?''

When Jennifer Rassen saw her name crossed out and the question, she ran to
Principal Earl L. Lee and claimed Jamie had cast a spell on her.

``She was hysterical,'' school spokeswoman Vanessa Pyatt said. ``She was
distraught and crying violently.''

Jamie was allowed back in school Wednesday when the suspension was lifted
after a meeting between the families and school officials.

``We do not believe that anyone was threatened,'' Pyatt said. ``Everyone
emerged from the meeting, I think, satisfied that the issue had been
resolved.''