Boy Gets Suspended for Trying to Keep Knives Out of School

knife teenSo, you know how you've been trying to raise your kid to be an honest, ethical human being? You've probably tried to encourage him to do things like "tell the truth," especially when personal safety and/or the safety of others is at stake. It's just common sense parenting.

Except when it's not. Because for 13-year-old Jack Persyn of Georgia, telling the truth was what got him suspended. And I'm not talking about some coerced confession ("If that graffiti in the gym isn't your doing, why is there spray paint all over your shoes, hmmm?"). Poor Jack didn't even do anything wrong. The whole thing was a set-up!

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Okay, not really. (But sort of.) See, Jack's aunt bought him a new schoolbag. Which he then brought to school (as one would expect). Oh, I should mention that his aunt didn't really check to see if the bag was totally empty when she gave it to him.

Imagine the boy's surprise when he reached into his bag during chess club and found a knife! Yikes! Knives don't belong in school. Jack was certain of that. So he did exactly what every mom hopes her kid would do in that situation: He went straight to his teacher and told her about it.

And was rewarded with a 4-day, in-school suspension.

So much for positive reinforcement! (Oh hey, did I mention the knife was 1.5 inches long?)

Apparently the school is sticking by their decision, though they don't seem to be able to explain why, really, unless you consider "We know our administrators followed procedure as stated in the Student Conduct Code" to be an explanation, which I don't. So obviously this was an incredibly stupid, unfair mistake

It kills me, as a parent, to hear about a kid getting penalized for doing the right thing. But as my grandmother used to say, "No good deed goes unpunished." And so I have to wonder: As parents, is it more important to teach our kids to be honest or shrewd? I know what the "right" answer is, but honesty isn't always the best, most self-preserving policy.

I think it's a matter of discernment; knowing what a specific situation requires. But I don't know if discernment can be taught.

As Jack Persyn knows, it sure can be learned.

Do you think we should teach our kids that honesty is always the best policy?

 

Image via DieselDemon/Flickr

 

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