A while back, I took an informal survey on Facebook of whether there should be any laws restricting the use of knives in the United States. While a couple people thought there should be none, a large number said that schools are among the few places that should have restrictions on knives (for obvious safety reasons). However, no one could possibly support what happened to a boy at a Georgia school.

According to WSB TV, seventh grader Jack Persyn was suspended for accidentally bringing a 1.5-inch knife to school. Here’s a description of the incident from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Jack Persyn discovered a pocket knife in the military-style backpack his aunt had bought second-hand at a yard sale and had given to him for Christmas. The teen reported the knife and turned it in to his teacher.

But even though the 7th grader admitted having the knife, and his parents contend it wasn’t his fault it ended up at school, the boy was given a four-day in-school suspension for violating the Gwinnett school district’s policy on weapons.

Knife groups are up in arms over what they’re calling a zero tolerance policy gone awry. It’s hard to disagree with the knife groups.

Had the boy knowingly brought the knife to school, things would have been different. Had the knife been discovered by a peer or a teacher, it might have even been different. However, it was an accident and he did the right thing by turning it in to school officials. Punishing him for telling the truth  is simply wrong.

Fortunately, the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the school has since reduced the suspension to two days and is reviewing the disciplinary policy (probably because of the media attention and ensuing outrage).

His parents are trying to get this incident removed from his permanent record because they don’t want it to affect him later.


Timothy Martinez Jr. is the community director for Knife Depot and the editor of The Cutting Edge. If you have any questions or ideas for The Cutting Edge, you can contact him at Tim@knife-depot.com.
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