A Pennsylvania father is outraged after his son was suspended from school for three days after admitting he accidentally brought a pocket knife to school.
When 13-year-old Thomas Ross Jr. went to school on Sept. 11, he realized he had accidentally brought a pocket knife with him, WTAE reported. Thomas was helping his father open a cardboard box to set up a futon the previous night.
Thomas said he put the knife back in his pocket and wore the same shorts to school the following day. He didn't realize until second period that he still had the knife on him.
The teenager said he immediately asked to go to the principal's office, where he told the principal and the secretary he had accidentally brought the pocket knife to school.
The boy's father then received a phone call from the school informing him that his son was suspended for three days and would also be receiving a citation. He was not pleased.
"There's a first-degree murder and a third-degree murder. There's no such thing as zero tolerance in the world," Thomas Ross Sr. told WTAE. "Why is there zero tolerance on a child bringing a weapon by accident to school and then doing the right thing and turning it in?"
According to Ross Sr., his son had never been in trouble before at school. He was never suspended or given any citations. He believes his son should get some credit for doing the right thing.
“When he realized he had it, he turned it in," Ross Sr. said. "He's a typical kid. Don’t discipline a child for doing the right thing."
"I was scared that if I were to get it caught with it on me, it would have been worse than me turning it in," Ross Jr. added.
Despite the father's claims, he was told that a longer 10-day suspension would be considered at an informal hearing scheduled for Sept. 14 with school administrators.
"The safety and well-being of our students and staff is paramount," Superintendent Keith Hartbauer said in a statement. "We will follow our district's policy, procedures, and solicitor's recommendation regarding this discipline incident."
Hartbauer added that district policy calls for an automatic three-day suspension whenever a student brings a weapon onto the school campus. He said more information would be given at the hearing with administrators, and that he would be speaking with the district solicitor.
Several social media users appeared to agree with Ross Sr.
"Sorry, but a pocket knife is not a weapon. It's a tool," wrote one user. "A switchblade is a weapon. These people are morons."
"No good deed goes unpunished," wrote another.
"The lesson here is put your kids in private schools where the staff have discretion and common sense," concluded another user.