A rural Ohio high school senior has his life torn to shreds over the zero tolerance weapons policy at school.
He’s by all definitions a go-getter. He works hard, stays out of trouble, and is goal and career oriented at 18 years of age. So what’s the problem?
On a tip, the principal searched his car on campus and found: a folding blade pocketknife. That landed him 13 days in jail.
He was denied a request to call his attorney.
The pocket knife in his EMT training uniform, is part of his first responder kit, used to cut seatbelts in an emergency. Oh, did I mention he’s training to be an EMT?
He’s also taking a firefighter course and has already received several certifications including one from FEMA, a Terror Recognition certification, and Emergency Vehicle Operator certification.
He also joined the Army with plans to ship out in August. Long term he wants a career in law enforcement or firefighting.
In addition to jail, he’s been expelled from both his regular school and technical school and the Army has discharged him. If the “felony” charge (for having that pocketknife locked in the car!) sticks, he will never be able to realize his dreams of being a fireman or policeman.
Additionally, the judge has forbidden contact with his grandfather (read the full story for those ridiculous details!) who is dying of cancer!
A groundswell of public outcry started both via email and a public petition. It actually made matters worse, so he asked folks to stop.
All this over a 4 inch pocketknife in the locked car of someone who’s never caused an issue? It’s time to replace “zero tolerance” with “common sense.”
You can read more about it here.
Photo Credit Flickr CapCase