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October 21, 2009WEST ORANGE - Natasha Franks is still proud of her son Trey Franks.
Franks was recently suspended through this semester by the WO-C CISD School Board yet Natasha Franks is proud her son told the truth and will still be headed to Norman Oklahoma to play for the Sooners.
"That is still a go," Natasha Franks said. "Something trivial does not affect you elsewhere. Trey is still headed to OU. I just wanted him to be honest. We don't claim to be a perfect family but we are an honest family."
Another piece of good news for Franks is he is eligible to return in January, giving him time to prepare to defend his Class 3A state championship in the 100 meters.
Natasha Franks is also not interested in the other students' names to be printed or called out in local media.
"We don't need to kick these kids to the curb," Natasha Franks said. "We need to educate these kids and not crucify them. We are family and we don't do that here We need to help these babies and not hurt them."
Natasha Franks said Trey will continue to train for the 2010 track season at WO-S and prepare for next fall at OU.
West Orange-Stark athletic director Dan Hooks knows he has lost a good one.
Hooks confirmed to the Orange Leader Tuesday senior Franks has been suspended from extra-curricular activities through this semester.
Franks and two cheerleaders were suspended from extra-curricular activities for the rest of 2009 after a decision made at Monday night's board meeting of the WO-C CISD School Board.
"We'll miss him," Hooks said. "He's a great ballplayer and athlete. I hate that it happened."
Before the decision was made, one of dozens of supporters spoke to the board on behalf of the students.
But after almost two hours of deliberation, that included statements from the students' parents, the seven-member board came up with a split vote, three to three, because one member did not vote.
That decision meant the original punishment imposed by the high school principal stands.
All three students had been suspended from last Friday's 62-0 homecoming victory against Hamshire-Fannett while awaiting the appeal.
"This will last for the rest of the semester," WO-C CISD superintendent O. Taylor Collins said. "Starting in January they can come back."
The students were suspended for violating the student conduct code with an inappropriate use of technology.
The code states that "any person taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing obscene, lewd or other illegal images or photographs" will be disciplined.
Franks verbally committed to Oklahoma University over the summer along with teammate James Haynes and was the 2009 state 3A champion in the 100 meters.
Gabriel Pruett, The Orange Leader Sports