Maine School Exercises Common Sense Knife Control


We begin our story with a Social Studies teacher named Mr. Tweedie shooting the breeze with his class at RSU 29 in Houlton Maine. “Mr. Tweedie had asked them about their Memorial Day weekend. The female student then took a tactical-type knife with a 6-inch blade out of her book bag, which she had by her desk. She allegedly charged towards a boy.” Jealousy much? That said, Hammer and Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin told that the knife-wielding student had no history of violence at the school. And the paper’s deet-less on the girl’s beef with the lad. But we do get a blow-by-blow account of the edged blade disarmament process . . .

Tweedie saw what was happening and stepped between them. He wrestled with the girl for control of the knife as she was trying to get free.

Robert Kinens, who was teaching in a nearby classroom, heard the commotion and assisted Tweedie. They restrained the girl and tried to reason with her but were unable to get her to release the knife, according to the chief.

At that point, Principal Marty Bouchard came in the classroom and reportedly talked the student into dropping the knife.

Tweedie suffered bite marks, but was otherwise unharmed. The students were not injured.

Somehow, the school authorities avoided the first rule of a knife fight: someone’s going to get cut. [NB: a human bite can be more dangerous than a cut.] Equally surprising and against all odds, the school’s forgoing the usual knee-jerk reaction to knives in schools. They’re resisting the temptation to install metal detectors.

“Someone else may have handled it differently,” the superintendent said. “Another teacher might have pushed a desk in between the students. It is all in what they are comfortable with. We don’t train our teachers in hand-to-hand combat. I think adrenaline kicked in and Mr. Tweedie reacted and made a great decision and no one was injured.” . . .

Hammer said that while some parents had approached the district about the need for metal detectors after the incident, it was a small number.“We are going to continue to push our students to advocate for themselves,” he said. “To tell us if they see or hear information that is suspicious going on with their peers and taking place around them. That makes a tremendous difference.”

Roger that. Now if only big city schools took a similar approach to the proliferation of edged weapons inside schools. If only they could . . .


  1. Aharon says:

    The comments after the news story from that place in Maine are getting nasty. A couple of people (adults?) are posting the girl was bullied and others alleging the girl and her mother are known trouble makers. Oh and the adults defending the girl are her mother and grandmother. I often prefer dogs and cats to people.

    1. Mark N. says:

      Dogs and cats are great, but it is not safe to get between them when they are fighting either.

  2. JoshuaS says:

    Is a pocket knife even illegal in the school? I mean, I am guessing that the 6 inch tactical knife (fixed?) would be. But even in California, small folding knifes are not banned by state law in school (though unlike firearms, there is no preemption), and there is a length limit smaller than for other public buildings (2.5 or 3, rather than 4).

    What about butter knives?

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Maine School Exercises Common Sense Knife Control

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