SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (CBS Washington) — The Virginia Supreme Court is chewing over one teenager’s spitball case.

Andrew Mikel was suspended by Spotsylvania High School in December 2010 for the remainder of the year for shooting spitballs — or hollow plastic pellets — through a straw during lunchtime.

School officials charged him with criminal assault and possession of a weapon under the student code of conduct.

The Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville-based group that provides free representation in select constitutional rights cases, is representing Mikel.

“It’s absurd that Andrew Mikel was not only suspended for the school year but characterized as a criminal,” John W. Whitehead, president of the institute, said in a release.

The Spotsylvania County School Board released a statement saying it strives to keep its students safe from one another.

Mikel’s attorney, Rita Dunaway, argued Tuesday he intended no harm, that spitballs weren’t weapons and Mikel is no criminal.

She is seeking a reversal of the suspension.


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