Green Room

Video: Student suspended for 10 days after accidentally carrying pocketknife to school

posted at 3:06 pm on September 17, 2013 by

The kicker? David Schaffner III voluntarily turned himself in to school authorities while at a football game, after he realized he’d kept his pocketknife after hunting. Instead of rewarding him for his honesty or at least mitigating the punishment somewhat, the school gave him the same punishment it would give a student who tried to sneak a weapon into a school event:

There is no metal detector, no bag check there, but Schaffner grabbed a security guard.

“Intentionally, willfully handed the pocket knife,” he said.

He even voluntarily wrote out and signed a statement, saying:

“I was in the woods behind my house at my tree stand and forgot to take my knife out of my pocket … came to the game and gave it to the security guard.”

With that, the Fox Chapel principal kicked him out of the game and then early Monday morning kicked him out of school for 10 days.

Schaffner says the punishment sends a horrible message.

“To me it sends a message, you should probably lie, ‘cause you’re going to get punished,” he said.

Now the family has to hire a lawyer.

This is another manifestation of the idiotic zero-tolerance policies adopted by schools. On one hand, we have a student who made a mistake and brought it to the school’s attention voluntarily, and on the other hand, we have a hypothetical of a student who maliciously brings a knife to school but gets caught. Even though the two situations are both objectively and subjectively different, the school treats both the same — so that they don’t have to exercise any common sense. It’s an absurdity, and yet another data point demonstrating the decline of adult leadership in public education.

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