Posted in: Education

Student Jailed 13 Days Over EMT Rescue Knife, Army Career Dreams Dashed

Jordan Wiser, by JBWphotography

Jordan Wiser, high school senior, says he declined the car search that led to his suspension from Ashtabula County Technical School over a pocket knife found in his EMT medical vest. The three-inch folding knife found in the trunk of his car is one of his life-saving tools, used to cut seat belts in an emergency.

Wiser spent 13 days in the Ashtabula County Jail, was booted from the Army’s Future Soldier Training System program, and has had to continue his senior year from home. Wiser was taking A-Tech’s Firefighter 2 and EMT courses.

“Last year, I completed the law enforcement course,” Wiser told The Huffington Post. “I received several certifications, including the National Terror Defense certification from FEMA, the Terror Recognition certification and [certification as an] Emergency Vehicle Operator.”

Also found in the car on campus was an Airsoft gun, which is legal and shoots non-lethal pellets. Wiser says the Airsoft gun is for a shooting club he attends. The high schooler also kept a stun gun in his car for self-defense.

Wiser hopes for a favorable hearing at his April 1 court date. Otherwise, the felony charges may put his plans to enlist in the Army after graduation in jeopardy.

“If I am convicted of a felony, I’m never going to be a police officer. I’m never going to be a fireman. I’m never going to be in the military,” Jordan Wiser continued. “I won’t even be able to be a janitor. I’m 18 years old, and this is going to ruin my entire life.”

If the court decides that the search was illegal, Wiser may have a chance.

Jordan Wiser spoke to Fox News about the allegedly illegal car search. “I declined to allow them to search myself or my car and that I wanted to talk to my lawyer or my father. They told me it wasn’t an option.”

Once the knife was found in the EMT trainee’s first responder kit, Ashtabula County Technical School enacted their zero tolerance policy. Superintendent Jerome Brockway insists that the school had probable cause to search the car and that the student handbook, which all students must agree to in order to attend the school, states that officials have the right to search a student and his or her vehicle if they have probable cause. The school’s probable cause is based on Wiser’s Youtube account activity, which includes demonstrations on home defense tactics.

Superintendent Brockway also claims that Wiser consented to the search. “When we asked, he had said, ‘okay,'” Brockway told Fox News.

Jordan Wiser describes the search very differently. “The principal said he had reason to believe I had weapons in my vehicle and needed to search it,” Wiser said. “He made me empty out all my pockets, and the vice principal grabbed me and patted me down very forcibly. It was somewhat awkward. Then they took my car keys.” The principal then allegedly cited the student handbook as his search warrant and ignored Wiser’s request for an attorney.

Wiser says he is considering filing a lawsuit. “It is definitely an option.”

Zero tolerance policies have led to similar issues over the past decade, yet schools continue to use them. For another example, read: Lansingburgh Central School District decision perfect argument against zero tolerance policies.

photo credit: JBWphotography, by Jordan Wiser

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Comments

36 Responses to “Student Jailed 13 Days Over EMT Rescue Knife, Army Career Dreams Dashed”

  1. Lynn Sherrard Steigerwalt

    Really???? I'm glad schools are diligent in making sure it is safe for all students but give me a break – unless something is missing from this story this was ludicrous – consider this young man's life and his involvement in the community and his life long goals – yes those articles in his vehicle should have been left at home but I really think a warning would have been sufficient.

  2. Juanita Poole

    What was the probable cause? This kid sounds like he is a good one. so what would have prompted the school to decide to check his car. This is really starting to sound like Nazi Germany. The knife was in a locked car so what harm could it have done. What he was going to run out to his car, open the trunk, grab the 3 inch knife a go on a stabbing spree. Where has common sense gone?

  3. Roy Dean

    Back when I was in school I used to take my hunting knife with an 8" blade to school and keep it in my locker. Teachers often asked to borrow it for one reason or another. Many of us also used to keep our rifles on gun racks in the back window of our trucks parked on the school grounds. It was never an issue. Our world has gone insane.

  4. Dale Eggleston

    what ever happened to common sense. These are the people in charge of teaching our children we are in a world of s***

  5. Dale Eggleston

    what ever happened to common sense. These are the people in charge of teaching our children we are in a world of s***

  6. Rodacious ThreeStacks

    No matter what the kid had the knife in, he had a knife at school. Think back to your high school days. Do you think it would have been cool for you to have a stun gun and a knife at school. The kid knew he was wrong. The school has a right to search kids at school for the safety of others after all of these kids have flipped out and killed other people's kids.

  7. Michael Bigler

    We have a terrible dilemma facing our children in the school system. We are teaching communism, common core (very difficult), the thought of "freedom of choice" or we (adults) chose for you? Safety even though mistakes do happen to people. We need to have more charter schools so children can learn without begin hurt for some little mistake such as having a knife in a vehicle away from others. He probley did not talk or bragged about it.

  8. Tonya Zaengle

    Once again, zero tolerance has failed. What a surprise.

  9. Julie K Carpenter Bixler

    Really it was part of his schools program, and yoi punish him, people are going to far with this. It was in him car trunk not in his pocket.

  10. Colleen Faler

    So, FACEBOOK constitutes probable cause??? Ummm……no! Show me one piece of anything resembling law that would make that valid! Good luck finding it, because I'm pretty certain that exercising your Constitutional right to free speech (outside of inciting a riot or hate speech), cannot be used as probable cause against you! Kid—–get thee a damn good attorney and challenge the heck out of this!

  11. Jaime Havard

    I don't know where it's gone but this zero tolerance spree has got to stop.

  12. Debbie McNair

    I didn't read anywhere about what prompted the principal to check the young man or his car for a weapon. He wasn't using it as a weapon or showing it off to other students, it was locked in the car. So yes by all means treat him like a criminal and ruin his life over a knife he wasn't using to threaten to harm another person with. So we have a student with a EMT tool locked in his car, not on his person, not threatening anyone with it but for some reason the principal decided to search him and his car, which can now possibly ruin his life. Yes, this makes sense. We need to teach our school admiinistrators how to apply common sense and when to apply it. I understand their concerns about a student in possession of a knife but come on. Learn to look at the facts and go from there. A simple warning to not bring the knife to school again was teh common sense thing to do not jail the young man over this. Last I heard it isn't a crime to have a knife locked in your car.

  13. Julie Janicke Hesseltine

    Growing up in a rural area….some kids hunted before school started……guns were left in the windows or seats of pickups….and as soon as the last bell rang….those guys were hauling balls for the hills again. Yep….knives were there too for gutting their kill. Grotesque? Not to us…it was and still is a way of life! Killing or hurting people at school….heck NO!!!

    SO YEP….I THOUGHT BACK YO WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL! Some of this crap has gone too far. Ruining the life of someone who is trying to do great service for community is cruel. Looking at you tube activities to find issues for a search? If they found something that terrible it sure as heck shouldn't have been school officials doing the search! There are always two sides to a story….but so fat….all I see is something pathetic by the BIG BOYS wanting a little bit of fame and names in the news! Instead they look like complete fools at this point.

    By the way….I am a mother…in healthcare….and in EMS.

  14. Julie Janicke Hesseltine

    Growing up in a rural area….some kids hunted before school started……guns were left in the windows or seats of pickups….and as soon as the last bell rang….those guys were hauling balls for the hills again. Yep….knives were there too for gutting their kill. Grotesque? Not to us…it was and still is a way of life! Killing or hurting people at school….heck NO!!!

    SO YEP….I THOUGHT BACK YO WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL! Some of this crap has gone too far. Ruining the life of someone who is trying to do great service for community is cruel. Looking at you tube activities to find issues for a search? If they found something that terrible it sure as heck shouldn't have been school officials doing the search! There are always two sides to a story….but so fat….all I see is something pathetic by the BIG BOYS wanting a little bit of fame and names in the news! Instead they look like complete fools at this point.

    By the way….I am a mother…in healthcare….and in EMS.

  15. Julie Janicke Hesseltine

    Amen to the guns in the window….hunting before and after school.

  16. Katie Burns

    I think they over charged him. His knife was from one of his classes. So our education system has gone from wanting our kids to succeed to punishing them for wanting to do amazing things in life. I hope everything works out for him.

  17. Roy Dean

    Yep. Back in the 80's I carried my hunting knife with an 8" blade to school almost every day. Teachers used to borrow it all the time. I also carried my rifles in my truck displayed in a gun rack in the back window. Nobody ever had a problem with it because back in the day we had this thing called common sense. It seems to be lacking in todays society.

  18. Patrick Frye

    Let's put it this way. I openly kept a Swiss army knife on my person when attending DoD schools as a military brat. When I was back in the states during high school I whipped it out for helping a teacher open cardboard boxes. He was surprised I didn't know about the rules, and I was surprised people could be so stupid (I can understand rules against combat knives, swords, etc. though).

  19. Rosie Schiele Pellegrini

    They claim their probable cause revolved around his facebook posts. This is not probable cause. He should sue. He will win. Once they crazy, sicko schools start feeling it in their pocketbooks, they will stop this nonsense.

  20. Becky Zimmerman Leeman

    in MY high school days a at Vo-Tech school most of the boys and a lot of the girls carried some kind of pocketknife. and we used dangerous tools in shop classes. and ALL the schools in our area were closed for the first day of buck season (deer hunting)

  21. Rodney Simmons

    My name is Rodney Simmons. I am a former class mate of jordans. Here is what I have to say. The knife was not a part of the class. Yes in the real world EMTs and firefighters carry them. The knife was not prescribed to anybody in the glass. He bought it on his own free will. The school also has a hand book in which when you sign it releases all of your rights as an adult to searches if its on school property they can search anything. Part of a zero tolerance policy. Probable cause for the search? Yes the YouTube videos do provide for it. He is allowed to state his opinions on there. But is he allowed to carry onto school property? No. I know this kid. I don't like him nor will I ever because he has been a trouble maker in my class arguing with our instructors and insinuating fights and arguments with the superiors.

  22. Rodney Simmons

    And to add to it. If you have weapons or such in your car for recreational use if you tell the principal. They will take care of it and you will not get in trouble. This was made clear in the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. He has nobody to blame but himself

  23. Meg Elizabeth Harris

    I'd sue the hell out of someone. Maybe when the school administration gets into a life threatening accident and needs an EMT's assistance, they'll wish he had his rescue knife in the training kit. IDIOTS. This isn't a teenager with an Uzi in his car. It's a life saving tool!!! God, I wish I cod post here what I'm really thinking about these half-wits.

  24. Meg Elizabeth Harris

    And it was his YouTube account, not Facebook.

  25. Lisa Johnston LeDoux

    They would sure want someone with his training and tools if they needed help…

  26. Mary Bruso

    Becky Zimmerman Leeman I agree, I took Carpentry at Vo-Tech and carried a knife and a hammer everyday! Many years later my daughter goes to school on a Monday morning wearing her hunting jacket and realizes she has a small pocket knife in her pocket. She immediately reports the error and gives it to her teacher. A few minutes later she is in the principles office getting suspended!

  27. Lindsey Fitch

    Ridiculous…enough said. This country is taking rights away from the innocent and giving rights to the guilty. Shame on whoever had time to make an issue of this and affect this kid's life as such. People have nothing better to do –

  28. Jen Ny

    Hmmm… So because he was posting videos on you tube teaching home self defense it is okay to take away his rights to illegal search and seizure?

  29. Jen Ny

    Hmmm… So because he was posting videos on you tube teaching home self defense it is okay to take away his rights to illegal search and seizure?

  30. Michele Williams

    You can thank a liberal for this! People in our country no longer have any common sence! What is next? If you really stop and think about you can very easily kill a person with a pencil.