Tennessee honor roll student suspended over knife found in dad's car
An honor roll student in Tennessee faces serious charges and my not be allowed to graduate after a knife belonging to his dad was found in a car parked at the school.
David Duren-Sanner was suspended last Thursday in what his family is calling an "overreaction" by the school to an honest mistake.
During a random lockdown and search at Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn., the sheriff's department said it found a fishing knife inside the car he drove to school that day. They said they found it in the back seat and David said he didn't even know it was there. According to David, the father had been his father's.
His father, a commercial fisherman, says the knife must have fallen in between the seats.
David was suspended ten days on the spot. The reason? The knife is longer than three inches and is considered a dangerous weapon. It's illegal on school property under state law.
The school district itself has its own policy that says "students are responsible for the contents of the vehicle they drive to school."
However, the policy contradicts itself. In subtext under offenses for possessing a dangerous weapon, the policy says "possession shall mean the student 'knowingly' and 'intentionally' possessed the contraband."
David says he had no idea his father's knife was in the car.
Elise Shelton, a spokeswoman for the district says David's statement of ignorance about the knife will factor in to the final decision.
"I think that's for the hearing board to decide so they'll look at evidence, they'll look at his testimony they'll look at all these things all together and they'll do what's right by the student and what's right for the school system," Shelton said.
The district says this case should be lesson for everyone.
"I highly recommend for every parent and student to go out to their car tonight and make sure everything in there is appropriate."
For David, he's getting support online. More than 14,000 people have signed a Change.org petition in support of him. It asks the board to end his suspension, drop all charges, and not punish him for missed days.
The student has an appeal hearing Wednesday with the school board.