CHARLESTON - Seven West Virginia State University students who filed a lawsuit against the school and President Hazo Carter after they were suspended for violating the school's code of conduct have been denied a temporary injunction in their cases.

Rena Wierbinski, Xavaye Glasco, David Broadnax, Amber Cook, Tiffany Murray and Tanya Hines are all named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed March 9 by attorney Eunice L. Green. The students were suspended March 5 for violations of the student handbook, including drug and alcohol violations.

The students filed a joint petition for a temporary restraining order and injunction prohibiting the suspension, but Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker denied their request.

The complaint says the school considered the students guilty before they had a chance to be tried, which goes against the school's "innocent until proven guilty" policy. Also, the suit says West Virginia State University was in violation of the West Virginia Higher Education policies and procedures.

The housing contracts for the students were taken away, as was their right to attend class, and no refunds were granted.

One of the reasons the judge denied the petition is because the school's spring break was the week after the suspensions were issued, and the students were not allowed to live on campus during the break, the decision says.

The students' charges differ, ranging from drug and alcohol to weapons violations. Broadnax, Cook, Glasco, Hines and Wierbinski all were suspended for a full year, while the suspensions of Garner and Murray were less, but not disclosed in the suit.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-436

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