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A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom.

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Rogan and Susan Ferguson stood with their son Asa Ferguson, a ninth-grader, on April 10, 2014. Asa was holding materials he used for a coil-gun science project, confiscated after administrators decided it was dangerous. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Students and parents have rallied around Greg Schiller after his suspension in February from the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts. Supporters have organized a rally on his behalf at the campus scheduled for Thursday, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for his reinstatement and set up a social media page.

Schiller was ordered to report daily to a district administrative office pending an investigation after two students turned in science projects that were designed to shoot small projectiles.

One project used compressed air to propel a small object, but it was not connected to a source of air pressure, so it could not have been fired. (In 2012, President Obama tried out a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow 175 feet.)

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