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Another Example of Zero Tolerance Gone Wrong?

A high school student has been suspended for a fishing knife left in his dad’s vehicle.

David Duren-Sanner, a senior at Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn., has been suspended for 10 days and faces criminal charges because school officials found a knife belonging to his father inside his father’s car, reports WTVF.

The vehicle in question was chosen via a random search, and Duren-Sanner gave school officials permission to search his car. The boy said he didn’t know the knife was there.
Duren-Sanner has a 3.0 GPA and participates in the ROTC.

Recent studies suggest that zero tolerance school discipline policies are not effective and may have negative effects, making students more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate on time. Some believe overly zealous school discipline policies have contributed to a “school-to-prison” pipeline.

The Obama administration in January issued non-binding guidelines that discourage the use of suspension.

Is this another example of zero tolerance student discipline policies being inappropriately applied?

About the Author


Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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