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I guess they DO take this seriously, Edit: Added poll for the fun of it. Edit again with what what happened at the hearing.

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2014 at 7:50 AM
  • 204 Replies

 

Poll

Question: Should this girl be expelled from school for a year for bringing a pocketknife she forgot she had?

Options:

Yes, rules are rules

No, it was an accident, she simply forgot

I'm just here for the cookies.


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 358

View Results

This happened not too far from where I live, please read and give me your thoughts.

A southern Minnesota community is putting it support behind a 17-year-old high school student who is facing expulsion for having a pocketknife in her locker.

Alyssa Drescher is a junior at United South Central, a school district in the town of Wells, Minnesota, population 2,300.

On Tuesday, Drescher’s locker was searched during a random schoolwide police drug search, the Albert Lea Tribune reports. No drugs were found, but a small pocketknife at the bottom of her purse was. Drescher had forgotten it there, her father Rick Drescher tells the paper, after having used it to cut hay bales at her boyfriend’s a few days earlier; she simply forgot to take it out before heading to school.

Her locker was searched because a K-9 dog reacted to perfume coming from within, a Facebook page in support of Drescher says. Rick Drescher tells the Tribune that’s what he was told by a police officer there.

The Facebook page describes Alyssa as an honor roll student, who has never even had a detention.

First she was suspended, the paper says. Within days it had escalated to a possible 12-month expulsion.

Now the family is pushing back against the district’s zero tolerance policy.

“This is wrong,” Rick tells the Tribune. “It’s an excessive punishment … Last week at this time, we were making a plan of which colleges we were going to visit, and now we’re sitting here thinking she may not even be able to go to college.”

The Facebook page, We Support Alyssa Dee, was created on Thursday. It now has 728 likes, and a peaceful protest is scheduled to be held Monday before school starts.

The Wells Police Chief only told the Albert Lea Tribune the K-9 dogs indeed did not find any drugs. And the paper was unable to reach Wells Superintendent Jerry Jensen for comment.

Drescher’s case does not appear to be unique.

Just in Minnesota, a 16-year-old in Willmar, Minnesota was caught at school with a pocketknife after school officials were told he had brought drugs to school, the Star Tribune reported. He willingly turned it over and was expelled for a year, the paper said, plus was charged for felony possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds. The Minnesota Court of Appeals weighed in, the Star Tribune reported, saying pocketknife possession is not a felony – but upholding it as a reason for expulsion.

In 2013, an eighth-grader at Pequot Lakes Middle School took out a pocketknife to show classmates before school one day, the Brainerd Dispatch reported. The school’s weapon policy, the paper said, includes an initial five-day suspension with a possible recommendation to expel the offender for 12 months. The school did not divulge what disciplinary actions were taken, however.

And a 15-year-old student in Winona faced a dangerous weapon chargeafter police say he had a pocketknife in his pocket on school grounds.

A case in Michigan (an 11-year-old who claimed he accidentally left the knife in his pants after using it with his father the night prior, FOXUPreported) resulted in a year-long expulsion; and in Georgia (a K-9 dog smelled fireworks in a 17-year-old’s car on school grounds, and police then found knives he said were used on a fishing trip, FOX 9 reported) felony charges against the student were dropped.

As for Alyssa Drescher, her family-run Facebook page says it was all an honest mistake.

“Everyone makes mistakes and schools such as USC need to care about the actual children and deal with each student individually and not treat all students the same,” it says. Schools have somehow forgotten that children of all ages make mistakes and are not perfect.”

An expulsion hearing is set for Thursday.





Edit: Here's what happened if anyone is interested.



ABC 6 News) -- A week and a half ago a police dog zeroed in on a locker at United South Central High School during a routine inspection.

The girl who owned a pocket-knife found inside said she brought it by mistake, but the school says they have a zero tolerance weapons policy.

Thursday night the school board met to decide whether to expel the honor roll student.

Friends and family packed the small classroom at United South Central to show support for 17-year-old Alyssa Drescher.
     
The family requested the expulsion hearing be an open hearing, and the proceedings felt more like a full-on criminal trial than a school board hearing.

After opening remarks, the school district began by calling witnesses to talk about school policy and how the knife was found.

The school's liaison officer, principal, and the superintendent all testified that Drescher had broken school policy by failing to come forward after she knew the knife was in her locker.
     
Drescher's lawyer argued that it was an honest mistake, that she forgot the knife was in her purse after using it that weekend for chores on her boyfriend's farm.

Several teachers and coaches testified that Drescher was a model student and both Drescher and her father gave statements saying they felt her suspension was enough.

After more than two hours of testimony the board went into a closed session for more than an hour before reaching a decision.

In the end the board voted unanimously to expel Drescher for the rest of the school year, but gave no reason behind their decision.

"Clearly they had the discretion to not do that and in other cases the school district did not choose to expel a student for unintentionally bringing a prohibited item to school," Christopher Johnson, Drescher's lawyer said.

Outside the classroom Drescher and friends were in tears, and her father said he was too emotional to speak with us.

However; their lawyer said the family would continue fighting to get Drescher back in classroom before the end of the year.

"We believe that the punishment does not fit the alleged crime and we will be pursuing legal options against the school district to protect Alyssa's rights," Johnson said.

The school is still obligated to provide education for Drescher, so in theory she will be no further behind other students when she returns in the fall.

by on Apr. 25, 2014 at 7:50 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 7:55 AM

BUMP!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 25, 2014 at 7:55 AM
10 moms liked this
You can't lay down these laws to keep kids safe and then decide who is exempt from the laws on a case by case basis. How is that ok?

It's sad that this happened to such a seemingly smart individual.
However, she broke the rules at the school and state laws. She should be punished



ETA: "Alleged crime"?! That lawyer is a joke.
As for her punishment, good. If classrooms and schools are to be safe there needs to be serious repercussions For these situations
cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 7:59 AM

BUMP!

cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Hello, please read and give me your thoughts, this is quite the big story where I'm at.

cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

BUMP!

cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:08 AM

BUMP!

LyTe684
by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:09 AM
6 moms liked this
A years expulsion is excessive. What happens during that year? Do they homeschool or just miss a year? Education should not be a punishment like THAT. A week? Sure. A whole year? Bullshit.
cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:09 AM

BUMP!

cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Free cookies to the first 10 that reply to this post, come on I want to hear your thoughts' ya'll are so vocal on other stuff, let's get going on this one.

cutebaby06
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2014 at 8:11 AM

BUMP!

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