Family: Teen Suspended After Trying To Do The Right Thing
FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) – A high school student says he is being punished for trying to do the right thing.
He told school officials when he realized he brought his pocketknife to a football game.
But he was suspended anyway.
“I dropped him off right at the corner there by the stop sign,” said David Schaffner, father to the 16-year-old who was suspended.
Schaffner is a proud father, but now also an angry one. He dropped off his son at Fox Chapel Friday night for a football game.
In his pocket, his son had a knife. He’s a hunter and uses it in the woods – in fact, he had just used it.
“He was cutting branches and what not with it,” Schaffner said. “Just forgot he had it in his pocket.”
There is no metal detector, no bag check there, but Schaffner grabbed a security guard.
“Intentionally, willfully handed the pocket knife,” he said.
He even voluntarily wrote out and signed a statement, saying:
“I was in the woods behind my house at my tree stand and forgot to take my knife out of my pocket … came to the game and gave it to the security guard.”
With that, the Fox Chapel principal kicked him out of the game and then early Monday morning kicked him out of school for 10 days.
Schaffner says the punishment sends a horrible message.
“To me it sends a message, you should probably lie, ‘cause you’re going to get punished,” he said.
Now the family has to hire a lawyer.
“We are hopeful there will be reconsideration on this particular matter and he be immediately back in school,” said attorney Phil Dilucente.
Dilucente, who actually sits on the other end of it as a school district hearing, calls this case outrageous.
“Well, it’s utterly ridiculous,” he said. “I mean, what are we teaching our youth today? To not be honest, to now be open and forthcoming?”
So David Schaffner III is at home now for 10 days – short of a special hearing with the superintendent who isn’t available right now.
No comment from the school district as of Monday night.