I remember arriving at work one day and looking down to realize I had mistakenly worn my tennis shoes to work instead of the required steel-toed boots. I said nothing and hoped they would not notice. I was sent home later in the day and scolded for my dishonesty, as well I should have been. I was wrong, not because I made a mistake but because I tried to cover it up.
So is honesty the best policy? Yes it is. But it is the best policy because it builds character and not always because it yields the best results. Sometimes honesty still gets one punished as a 16-year-old Pennsylvania hunter recently found out.
CBS Pittsburgh reports:
FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) – A high school student says he is being punished for trying to do the right thing.
He told school officials when he realized he brought his pocketknife to a football game.
But he was suspended anyway.
“I dropped him off right at the corner there by the stop sign,” said David Schaffner, father to the 16-year-old who was suspended.
Schaffner is a proud father, but now also an angry one. He dropped off his son at Fox Chapel Friday night for a football game.
In his pocket, his son had a knife. He’s a hunter and uses it in the woods – in fact, he had just used it.
“He was cutting branches and what not with it,” Schaffner said. “Just forgot he had it in his pocket.”
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.
This story is unbelievable and it seems like the 2013-2014 school year is going to follow the same theme as 2012-2013. It would seem our schools are “zero tolerance zones” that are devoid of common sense.
How can you suspend a kid for ten days for doing the right thing?
I can’t blame his father for being furious.
We teach our children to be honest in all situations, and then we watch some wanna-be-Obama-esque school dictator show no mercy toward a kid who did the right thing. This is unacceptable.
You know the drill my friends. It’s our job to call and raise a little hell. Put pressure on the school administration and in a day or two we might hear about them changing their minds. Here is the phone number I have for Fox Chapel High School:
I am not sure what the principal’s name is but that may be for the best. If you intend to call it’s always best to be as annoying as possible. Go through as many underlings as you would like on the way to the dictator. This is straight from Obama’s playbook so you know it works. Cause a little dissent and division along the way.
Editor’s UPDATE: The school is basing their lack of common sense on this statement and a “possession of weapons prohibited” code.
Weapons in schools and on school grounds can lead to accidents and situations that place student safety in jeopardy. The principals in the Fox Chapel Area school district successfully handle discipline each day with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safest environment possible for all students. When there is a weapon on school property, we must follow the steps that are required by law. This is a responsibility we have to our community, students, and staff. Safety is a priority in each of our schools, both during the school day and at school events, 24-7.
As part of our responsibility to keep our students safe we have had a separate line for students to enter football games for the last three years. Students may be required to submit to a security search when entering games.
School officials cannot talk about the details of any discipline case to be able to outline all of the facts that lead to a specific decision. We can say that our principals work hard to be consistent and fair to all students when it comes to discipline. We must and do always follow the law.
The Fox Chapel Area School District remains committed to protecting the safety of all students and staff members.
The following is the Pennsylvania law on weapons on school grounds that all public school districts must follow:
PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES TITLE 24. EDUCATION CHAPTER 1. PUBLIC SCHOOL CODE OF 1949 ARTICLE XIII. PUPILS AND ATTENDANCE
24 P.S. § 13-1317.2 (2013)
§ 13-1317.2. Possession of weapons prohibited
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a school district or area vocational-technical school shall expel, for a period of not less than one year, any student who is determined to have brought onto or is in possession of a weapon on any school property, any school-sponsored activity or any public conveyance providing transportation to a school or school-sponsored activity. (b) Every school district and area vocational-technical school shall develop a written policy regarding expulsions for possession of a weapon as required under this section. Expulsions shall be conducted pursuant to all applicable regulations.
(c) The superintendent of a school district or an administrative director of an area vocational-technical school may recommend modifications of such expulsion requirements for a student on a case-by-case basis. The superintendent or other chief administrative officer of a school entity shall, in the case of an exceptional student, take all steps necessary to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.).
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following: (1) a weapon being used as part of a program approved by a school by an individual who is participating in the program; or (2) a weapon that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school property for the purpose of obtaining access to public or private lands used for lawful hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the authority or duty of a school or area vocational-technical school to make an alternative assignment or provide alternative educational services during the period of expulsion.
(e.1) A school district receiving a student who transfers from a public or private school during a period of expulsion for an act or offense involving a weapon may assign that student to an alternative assignment or provide alternative education services, provided that the assignment may not exceed the period of expulsion. (f) All school districts and area vocational-technical schools shall report all incidents involving possession of a weapon prohibited by this section as follows: (1) The school superintendent or chief administrator shall report the discovery of any weapon prohibited by this section to local law enforcement officials. (2) The school superintendent or chief administrator shall report to the Department of Education all incidents relating to expulsions for possession of a weapon on school grounds, school-sponsored activities or public conveyances providing transportation to a school or school-sponsored activity. Reports shall include all information as required under section 1303-A.
(g) As used in this section, the term “weapon” shall include, but not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.
Notice the open-endedness of the “weapons” as being defined as “any tool, instrument, or implement capable of inflicting serious body injury.” Remind me again why there is anything mobile allowed in this school system, including pens, pencils, books and various other objects that can be used in this manner.
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