A few days ago we highlighted a Police Chief who responded to a situation in a school involving a knife with a rare bit of common sense. If only someone like him were involved in this incident.
In yet another example of a school overzealously enforcing its zero
tolerance intelligence policies, an honor roll student in Clarksville, Tennessee may not be allowed to graduate after a fishing knife (not pictured) was discovered in his father’s car.
On Thursday, Duren-Sanner, a senior at Northeast High School drove his father’s car to school. During a random lockdown, his car was chosen to be searched.
Duren-Sanner gave permission because he said he had nothing to hide.
His father is a commercial fisherman on the West Coast and had apparently left a fishing knife in the car. Duren-Sanner’s father said it might have been wedged between one of the seats.
The article goes on to detail how Duren-Sanner has been given a 10-day suspension (the maximum allowed) and will be requred to attend alternative school for 90 days, as well as being faced with weapons charges from the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Department. He has also been forced to put his college planning on hold, because his family is unclear he will even be allowed to graduate on time.
The level of overreaction being displayed by all involved is simply staggering. To say this puts a black mark on his future would be an understatement. The suspension is bad enough, but the weapons charge will be far more ruinous to his future academic and professional careers. And for what?
We can only hope this petition urging the school system to drop all disciplinary action reaches the right ears, and that this young man who did nothing wrong can get on with his life.
The scariest thing that I took away from this article, however, was that the knife was found during a “random lockdown.” Sounds a bit Orwellian to me. The precedent set in these students’ minds by practices like this–innocent people being treated like criminals–is perhaps the most dangerous thing about these policies.
Are we ok with teaching our youth that random lockdowns and random searches are ok? Stop-and-frisk anyone?