An honor student from Dearborn Heights, Michigan who was caught carrying a pocketknife to a school football game, has been suspended for the rest of the year.
Atiya Haynes, 17, will be allowed to take online classes and graduate with her class in 2015, but the senior was nearly expelled from school after she was found carrying a pocketknife in her purse at the game, reports My Fox Detroit. After two hours of deliberation, Dearborn Heights District 7 board of education voted 6-0 to suspend the student.
Atiya was found carrying the weapon after school officials searched her purse when she exited a bathroom at the game. The teen says the pocketknife was a gift from her grandfather and that she carried it for protection while traveling via bicycle from southwest Detroit to Dearborn, where she was employed for the summer. She says she didn’t even realize the knife was still in her purse.
“I’m disgusted,” Atiya said of the board’s decision. “I can’t believe that … no empathy. Put your child in this situation. Everytime you forget your keys to your house, think of me. Think of this honest mistake. I’m a human being. I’m 17 years old. It’s disgusting that you can sleep at night knowing that you can potentially ruin somebody’s life.”
But District 7 Superintendent Tim Thieken said Atiya violated the district’s zero tolerance policy and there was little they could do to help her. “I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time as a school board we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan and we tried to do everything we could within that framework to allow her to finish her education within the state of Michigan,” Thieken said.
Atiya’s mother says the family is considering other possibilities, which may include placing the teen in private school. Atiya says she will continue to work toward her goal of becoming a broadcast journalist.
Source: My Fox Detroit