A North Carolina girl who accidentally took her father’s lunchbox to school has been suspended for the rest of her senior year: Dad had packed a small paring knife to eat an apple.
Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, a top student and soccer star, hadn’t been in trouble before. She now faces misdemeanor charges for bringing a weapon on campus. That could end her hopes for a soccer scholarship. “When you have a criminal record no school’s going to look at you,” she said. Smithwick is taking online courses through Central Carolina Community College to earn her diploma.
Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss told the Sanford Herald that it’s up to the principal to determine a student’s “true intent.”
“Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus.”
A commenter writes:
“Let’s have the students feel safe. How about letting them feel like their entire lives and livelihood aren’t at risk at your institution from an honest mistake. You are ruining this child’s life and future because some bonehead can’t recognize an honest mistake.”
Close the school, writes Instapundit. Children aren’t safe from stupid school officials.
Update: The superintendent says a three-inch knife was found in Smithwick’s purse. On PJ Media, Bryan Preston has a photo of the “purse,” which is a BYO brand lunch tote. The school also says Smithwick is enrolled at the school. But she’s banned from campus.