The news has highlighted several cases of students facing discipline for bringing a knife or razor to school. These knives are typically a pocket knife or small razor blade. Many times a student did not bring the knife to school with knowledge, but forgot that they had it or did not realize they were not allowed to have the sharp object on school campus. So what can happen if a student is caught with a knife or razor on campus?
What is classified as a knife?
Many schools have specific guidelines that no knife of any type is allowed on school campus. Some campuses have a length requirement where less than two inches is not punishable. Other districts classify eating utensils, like a butter knife, as a weapon or dangerous object. This would apply even when the knife was packed in a student’s lunchbox with the intention to cut food.
What is classified as a razor?
Some items that fall under this category are clear like a box cutter or straight razor. Other items may not be so obvious, like a razor used for shaving legs or the face.
What if a student did not realize the knife or razor is classified as a weapon?
In the schools eyes, it does not matter. If it falls into the category as described by the school, district, or state guidelines, a student can face discipline like suspension or expulsion.
What if the student forgot they had the knife or razor and accidentally took it to school?
A school may have discretion to not charge a student for accidental possession. However, in my experience, schools rarely deviate from the policy. They stand behind the policy and claim that they are treating all students fairly by enforcing the policy as written.
What if the knife or razor was in the student’s car on campus?
Students who have a knife or razor in their car on campus are still subject to discipline like expulsion. Even though the student may not have known or forgot that they had a razor or knife in their car, the school will still view it as possession of a weapon. The possession of a weapon will lead to a suspension and then recommendation for expulsion.
Can I fight the schools recommendation for expulsion due to possession of a weapon?
Yes. All schools have an appeal process. The school appeal process is time sensitive. The procedure for appealing is outlined in the school and district handbook. I recommend hiring an education lawyer with experience fighting school expulsions. In cases like these, I begin communicating with the school district’s lawyer immediately. The involvement of an education lawyer can positively impact the outcome of a school expulsion case. A school expulsion attorney can fight the charges and work to reduce or eliminate the expulsion and suspension.Click to read about the school expulsion procedure here. Richard Asselta is an award-winning school expulsion lawyer with offices in both Florida and New Jersey. He is experienced with defending students against expulsions and all other types of school misconduct and discipline. Call The Education Lawyers today and we will fight to keep you in school. 855-338-5299