A California teenager was convicted of illegally possessing a knife on school grounds, despite the fact that the knife never actually entered the school grounds. In fact the knife in question never left his car, which was parked on a public road next to the school. But California Court Of Appeals Justice David Pollak doesn’t give a shit about inconvenient trivialities like that.
Sfgate.com takes if from here:
State law prohibits possessing a knife on school grounds. Apparently that includes some areas off school grounds, too, like a car parked alongside a road just outside the gate.
A state appeals court in San Francisco upheld a knife-possession charge last week against a student at Pinole Valley High who was spotted in a parked car next to the campus by a policeman during a lunch period in November 2011. The youth drove off and the officer followed, knowing it was a closed campus that did not allow students to leave without permission. He stopped the car, questioned the driver and eventually found a seven-inch folding knife with a three-inch blade in the center console, the court said. The youth, Jacob S., told him he had gone fishing the day before and used the knife to cut his fishing line.
A juvenile court judge found that Jacob had illegally possessed the knife on school grounds and placed him on probation. In a ruling last Wednesday, the First District Court of Appeal agreed with the judge that the law defines “school grounds” broadly to include ”any public right-of-way situated immediately adjacent to school property.”
It might be a more doubtful case if the officer had first seen the car driving down the road next to the school, the court said, but the law clearly extends to the curbside parking lane where Jacob’s car was sighted.
“Particularly in view of the testimony that students regularly use their parked cars as lockers,” Justice Stuart Pollak said in the 3-0 ruling, “it would frustrate the purpose of the law to interpret a public right-of-way to end at the sidewalk and exclude a student’s car parked at the curb.”
Thank you, Justice Pollak. It must have taken many years of jurisprudence to finally realize that the term ‘school grounds’ can mean absolutely anything you decide it should mean, and damn the English language if it doesn’t cooperate. Since we wouldn’t want to frustrate the purposes of California’s overreaching nanny-state laws, perhaps ‘school grounds’ should include the student’s home as well? And how about your home too, justice Pollak?