What has happened to common sense? According to WGY and Fox News, an Honor Student at upstate New York's Lansingburgh High School, Matthew Whalen, has been suspended for twenty days for having a two-inch pocket knife in a locked kit in his car.
Accoding to Fox:
Lansingburgh High has a zero-tolerance policy, and when school officials discovered that Whalen kept his knife locked in his car, he says, they suspended him for five days -- and then tacked on an additional 15 after a hearing.
Let me point some things out: one, Whalen has never been in trouble with the law. Two, he is an honor student in good standing. Three, he has gone through basic training for the military. Four, he is credited with saving a person's life. Five, he is an Eagle Scout. In other words, he is not a trouble student and there seems that nothing warranted the search of his locked car.
More from Fox:
Whalen said he doesn't know who might have said he was carrying a knife, but he was open with school officials.
"And they said, 'Do you own a knife?' I said, 'Yes, I'm a soldier and an Eagle Scout -- I own a knife.'
"And they were like, 'Well, is it in your car or anything?' And I told them, 'Yeah, it's in my car right now.'
"And they asked me to show it to them. I didn't realize it was going to be a problem. I knew it wasn't illegal -- my police chief grandfather gave the knife to me."
This sort of thing is disgusting, really. Clearly this kind of over-policing and Zero Tolerance is ridiculous. There is some good news, however, Whalen has hired a lawyer to defend him.