When a Michigan junior high school student found a knife in a backpack, he tried to do the right thing by turning it in. Instead of being thanked, school officials threw the book at him, suspending him for a year and almost throwing him off of the football team (before the coach intervened).
As WWMT (Grand Rapids) reports, Kyler Davies, a seventh-grader at Legg Middle School in Coldwater, Michigan, bought a backpack at Goodwill but didn’t check it. The next school day, he packed his belongings in his backpack and brought it to school. However, once he got to school, he realized that the previous owner of the backpack had left a pocket knife in it.
Good to see Coldwater Community Schools suspend a 7th grader 30 days for doing the right thing. Great lesson: https://t.co/vwwdy8kU5K
— Philip Weiss (@PhilipTSW) September 20, 2016
Kyler tried to do the right thing by turning in the knife. He took it to his school counselor, as his mom, Denise, explains.
“He pulled it out and his counselor was standing there, and he says, ‘can I call my mom?’ And she’s like, ‘why do you need to call your mom?’ He says, ‘well, I found this, this isn’t mine.'”
Denise notes that she raises foster children and says that it’s impossible that any of her kids could have found any weapons in her home.
School officials weren’t at all impressed by Kyler’s attempt at making things right. Instead of praising Kyler for doing the right thing, school officials did the exact opposite. Per district policy, Kyler was suspended for one year. Further, they tried to kick him off of the football team, which is privately run and isn’t affiliated with Coldwater Community Schools.
“The school told me he could not go on their property, he could not play; he can’t ride the bus with his team because it’s a Coldwater bus.”
Fortunately for Kyler, Coldwater Rocket Football, the group that organizes Kyler’s football team, declined to remove him from the team. As of this writing, however, it is unclear if Kyler will be allowed to ride school buses to and from games.
Kyler’s mother was also able to get his suspension knocked down from a year to 30 days, but she still insists the school over-reacted.
“I understand the violence stuff that’s going on in schools, I said but when you get some boys that are honest and turns it in–he wasn’t trying to hide it–and then he’s getting punished for it.”
At this point, it bears noting that, when it comes to situations involving the discipline of children in public schools, school officials aren’t at liberty to give their side of the story due to privacy laws. In a statement provided to WWMT, Coldwater Community Schools made it clear that they would not be publicly disclosing any information about Kyler’s case.
“Coldwater Community Schools does not disclose information regarding the discipline of individual students under any circumstance.”
WWMT reporter Brittany Gray reached out to Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan, where Kyler claims to have bought the backpack that contained the knife. In a statement, the agency apologized for Kyler’s troubles but made it clear that the agency cannot bear any responsibility.
“Over 1 million items are donated to us each year and we are very grateful for that support. We take the safety of our customers, employees and community very seriously. Our staff does their best to inspect every item donated to us with safety in mind. However, we rely on people to inspect each item donated and it is possible something was missed.”
Do you believe school officials overreacted when Kyler tried to turn in the knife he says he found?
[Featured Image by BL91/Shutterstock]