Suspended for the school year and charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds. And by “weapon,” I of course mean … a paring knife.
Just one question: Is it true?
Smithwick said personnel found the knife while searching the belongings of several students, possibly looking for drugs. She said the lunchbox really belonged to her father, Joe Smithwick, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes…
Lee County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss said in a statement on Wednesday that the 3-inch-long knife was found in the teen’s purse, not her lunchbox. The search was conducted on Oct. 20 after a faculty member at the school discovered a student on campus with marijuana…
“She is currently enrolled as a student at the school,” Moss said.
The teen told WRAL News that she was initially given a 10-day suspension, then received notice that she was suspended the rest of the school year.
“Over two months after the event it is a mystery to us that the Smithwick’s concerns were not brought to our attention by the family through normal appeal procedures prior to going to the press,” Moss said.
I can understand why Smithwick would lie about where the knife was found but why would she lie about the length of the suspension? It should be easy to verify whether she’s going to school every day or not; maybe she’s “currently enrolled” yet still forbidden to be on campus due to the pending weapons charge. Also, as you’ll see in the clip, her “lunchbox” kind of looks like a purse. I wonder if the superintendent simply mistook it for that.
Whatever the answer, it’s comforting to know that no one will be getting shivved with an apple peeler at Southern Lee High. Exit quotation from James Lileks: “School Vouchers, please. Now. Thank you.”