Good news: School officials destroy girl’s college plans over knife mix-up

posted at 9:35 pm on December 29, 2010 by Allahpundit

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.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

All other issues aside, do you really think her college plans are destroyed? If you were a college admissions officer and saw her application package that included something in her permanent record about a suspension for bringing a “weapon” to school and also a one-page letter explaining what really happened, would you be less likely to accept her?

Because if I were the admissions officer, I’d make sure she gets in.

factoid on December 30, 2010 at 11:19 AM

When I was a kid I carried a pocket knife at all times, including school. I neither hid it nor flaunted it. And I was not the only one.

Watch? Check.

Wallet? Check.

Homework? Check.

Knife? Check.

And there was never a stabbing in the whole county, not that I heard of anyway.

Akzed on December 30, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Zero Tolerance is 100% stupid.

BigAlSouth on December 30, 2010 at 11:59 AM

. . . and don’t get me started on “Midol” being a prohibited drug under a school’s zero tolerance drug laws.

BigAlSouth on December 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

All other issues aside, do you really think her college plans are destroyed? If you were a college admissions officer and saw her application package that included something in her permanent record about a suspension for bringing a “weapon” to school and also a one-page letter explaining what really happened, would you be less likely to accept her?

Because if I were the admissions officer, I’d make sure she gets in.

factoid on December 30, 2010 at 11:19 AM

If I were an admissions officer for a large school with tens of thousands of applications per year her application gets thrown in the trash as soon as weapons charge shows up.

cadams on December 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Same thing happened to my son during a lock down. After he unlocked his car for them, they found a pen knife, that’s right, a 1″ blade cub scout pen knife in his cup holder. The tip was ground down flat because he use it as a flat-head screwdriver.

Appeal made no difference and this was two months before graduation.

scituate_tgr on December 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Not, nothing is a weapon without intent. Just because a law says something is naughty doesn’t make it a weapon otherwise a bag of flour is dangerous.

Speakup

Not everything that might be used as a weapon is per se a weapon, but some things are surely weapons. Try wearing a sword in court.

audiculous on December 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

This kind of stuff just scares and disappoints me…

Khun Joe on December 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM

re: Quote from James Lileks included in opening thread text;

“School Vouchers, please. Now. Thank you.”

How about, “Another great reason to Homeschool your children!’

William2006 on December 30, 2010 at 1:35 PM

If her statement is true, she can get a GED and enroll in my school (Guardian College) and become an EMT, paramedic, or personal trainer. We do background checks on our students, but this would be on juvenile record and so wouldn’t count. We don’t consider nail clippers and pocket knives to be weapons, nor OTC meds as drugs. We welcome you, Miss Smithwick, if you are interested!

spudmom on December 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Comment pages: 1 2