Monday, May 23, 2011

Zero Tolerance Policy Gone Crazy In One Maryland School

Bob Kellogg - OneNewsNow - 5/23/2011 4:00:00 AM
Two lacrosse players from a Maryland high school have been suspended, one who was charged with possession of a deadly weapon after authorities found a penknife he used to repair sports equipment.

On a rumor that alcohol was on the team bus, school officials searched the players' belongings and turned up a lighter in one boy's bag and a penknife in another, which were used for repairing equipment. But both were suspended, and the athlete with the penknife is being charged with juvenile possession of a deadly weapon. So John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute is defending the two.

"Under Maryland law, neither the lighter nor the penknife are dangerous weapons, so why the arrests? Why throw these kids out of school [and suspend] them," Whitehead wonders. "It's just another case of zero tolerance gone crazy."

He points out that records of the arrests could follow the students throughout their lives, which could give them trouble with getting into the college of their choice.

"So we've sent a letter; we're demanding that [the school] clean the records up," the attorney explains. "We have a criminal lawyer working on the criminal charges." But if the school does not comply, he says, "We'll go to court."

So far, the Talbot County Board of Education has not responded to their requests.

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