Saturday, May 1, 2004

5-year-old suspended for having pocketknife

The Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio - School officials in suburban Harrison Township have suspended a 5-year-old kindergarten pupil for 10 days and may expel him for bringing a pocketknife to school.

Northridge School District Superintendent Tod Perez has scheduled an expulsion hearing Tuesday for Kevin Lewis, found to be carrying the small knife at the Grafton Kennedy Elementary School.

"They are immediately suspended when they bring a weapon," school board President Sharon Gibson said. The board has a zero-tolerance policy regarding dangerous weapons.

The small knife - with blade, file, toothpick and spoon - was given to Kevin by his grandfather's best friend.

"We told him not to take it to school, but he hid it in his pocket. He showed it to his friend, and his friend told on him," said his grandmother, Roberta Lewis.

"He was very excited about getting it, so he took it to school with him," said his mother, Juanita Mullins of New Lebanon.

"It was a childish mistake, but he's a child. I do not think he should be expelled. He didn't have any bad intentions."

Perez said the outcome of Tuesday's hearing depends on what he learns.

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