The line between a tool & weapon can be hard to define, which is why some school systems have opted to have a Zero Tolerance Policy. However, parents in Baltimore are furious that 2 lacrosse players have been suspended for being “stick doctors”. Juniors Casey Edsall & Graham Dennis had their bags searched during an away game & were charged as juveniles for having a lighter & pen knife – both considered deadly weapons.
Now on one side of the fence, the boys and their families claim that the 2 items in question are items used to fix strings on their lacrosse sticks. On the other side, is the school system who deems a lighter as an “explosive device”. Logic so far goes to team Stick Doctor, however, Dennis had more than just a tiny pen knife in his bag – he also had a pocket knife knife with a 2″ blade in addition to a multi-tool device that also had a blade. His mother tried to justify her son’s actions by stating that they knew guns and knives were not allowed but did not consider this a violation of that rules. So in their world, pocket knives are permissible as long as it is sport related …
Team Zero Tolerance gets a boost from the county athletic director who says, “I don’t really think it is common practice for youngsters to have all these tools,” because he has not seen any sideline repairs. Also willing to talk to reporters was a coach from what may just be a rival school trying to help knock out the competition, “Most of our kids who need to repair a stick during games do so w/ the help of an athletic trainer”.
The Baltimore Messenger has the details:
They searched Casey Edsall’s bag first and found a lighter. Then they pulled Graham Dennis aside and he told them that they would find a pocket knife and a multi-tool device, similar to a Swiss army knife, that has small scissors, a corkscrew, a pen knife, a screwdriver and pliers. In addition, the school administrators found a folding pocket knife with a 2-inch blade, according to Easton police Lt. Gregory Wright.
The parents said the students were asked to go to the principal’s office. Laura Dennis said she was called as well as the police. When she got there, she was told her son would be arrested. She said he was in tears and scared as the police officers handcuffed him and put him in the police car. Edsall’s family appealed his suspension for possession of an explosive device. The appeal was denied by Salmon, but the family said they are taking it to the next level, which is the Talbot County school board, hoping that it will reverse Salmon’s decision.