Ellis draws support

Published 9:46 am Monday, March 30, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
special to the standard

Prosecutors have charged Flomaton High School football star Tony Ellis with sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl, but some of his fellow students stood up for him Thursday afternoon at an Escambia County Board of Education meeting.
With most wearing shirts bearing their school name, student after student filed into Flomaton High School library Thursday afternoon to show their support for Ellis at the monthly board meeting.
Ellis, 18, is a well-known senior athlete at the school who has been charged with enticing a minor for immoral purposes, sodomy and sexual abuse and has sought youthful offender status in the case. Ellis’s case has been delayed until a court decides whether he will be tried as an adult.
By order of the school’s code of conduct, Ellis has been sent to the Escambia County Alternative School.
Keegan Lambeth, one of Ellis’ fellow students, said he and other friends of Ellis decided during school that day to attend the meeting in show of support for Ellis to be allowed back in school.
Several community members had submitted written requests to address the board concerning Ellis’ removal from school and to petition his reinstatement at Flomaton High School.
In response to the requests, board Chairman Mike Goolsby read a statement addressing why the board could not allow community members to address it.
The board allowed the parent who had requested to speak to do so during executive session but took no action after the executive session.

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