Associated Press

GREAT FALLS (AP) - A district judge has temporarily stopped the school district from forcing a Great Falls High student to finish his senior year at C.M. Russell because he posted a list of the "10 hottest freshman girls" on his personal Web site.

Thursday was the first day Kenny Volk, 17, was at school since Feb. 20, when he was disciplined for posting the list on his Web site after Principal Gary Davis ordered him not to.

Volk's attorney, Ronald Bissell, filed a motion Wednesday asking District Judge Julie Macek to issue a temporary restraining order against officials to allow him back in school pending an appeal to the Great Falls School Board.

Macek granted the temporary order Thursday pending a hearing Tuesday in District Court on making the order permanent.

If Macek affirms the order, Volk will be allowed to stay at Great Falls High. But if she revokes or amends the order, he will attend C.M. Russell High until his appeal is heard by the school board, whose next regularly scheduled meeting is March 11.

Davis ordered Volk to leave school because of "insubordination" and later told him he would have to transfer to C.M. Russell or Skyline Alternative High School, Volk said.

In Macek's ruling, she said it appears, without looking at all the facts or hearing testimony, there is "a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claim of infringement of his constitutional right to expression and his right to not be suspended or expelled from school without due process of law."

There doesn't appear to be a connection between the conduct that led to his suspension and any violation of a school policy or rule, disruption of school functions or disobedience to the authority of school district authorities in carrying out education-related functions, Macek ruled.

Superintendent Bryan Dunn said Thursday the federal right to privacy law prevents school officials from discussing students' records or why a disciplinary action was taken.

He did say, "This is not simply about a student posting something on a Web site."

Volk was pleased with Macek's ruling.

"I think it is a first, good step for getting me reinstated in Great Falls High for a permanent basis - basically until the end of the (school) year," he said.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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