A Tennessee high school student in Montgomery County has been suspended after school officials found a knife inside his father’s car.
David Duren-Sanner drove his dad’s car to Northeast High School on Thursday morning. His car was chosen to be searched during a random lockdown.
Duren-Sanner agreed to the search since he had nothing to hide, he said.
That’s when officials found a fishing knife. Duren-Sanner’s dad is a commercial fisherman and had left the knife in the car.
When Duren-Sanner tried to explain to school officials and the Sheriff’s department that the car was not his and he didn’t know the knife was in it, they didn’t budge.
“He’s like, ‘It doesn’t matter; it was in your possession anyway,’” Duren-Sanner told News Channel 5.
The school decided to issue the high school senior a ten-day suspension -- the maximum allowed.
Duren-Sanner’s grandmother, Peggy Duren, said all this is a part of the school’s zero-tolerance policy and that the vice principal said, “Guilty until proven innocent.”
The honor roll student now has a lot to worry about: if his punishment is upheld, he will not be able to attend prom, his JROTC ball or participate in the graduation ceremony. His family worries whether this means he will be able to graduate at all.
An appeal hearing for Duren-Sanner will be on Wednesday with the school board.
But his troubles don’t stop there: he also faces weapons charges with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
Duren said her grandson has a high grade point average and has never been sent to the principal’s office. But scholarship applications have been halted because his future is now uncertain.
An online petition urging school officials to drop all charges against him and end his suspension has more garnered more than 600 signatures so far.
Many supporters are calling Duren-Sanner’s suspension an overreaction by school officials.
“Just think what this could do to this promising young man’s future,” the petition reads.