EDUCATION

Zero tolerance or lack of common sense?

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Graham Dennis was handcuffed, fingerprinted and charged with possession of a deadly weapon. He was also suspended from school for 10 days. Casey Edsall was accused of having an explosive on school property. He got a one day suspension.

The Eaton High juniors play lacrosse. The explosive device was a lighter. The deadly weapon was a pocket knife. Both are tools the boys use to maintain their lacrosse sticks.

“I tore a couple white strings on the side and I had to replace them with black strings,” said Dennis. “I cut them and burn them there. If I don't cut them and burn them, they fray.”

School administrators heard that explanation, but their zero-tolerance policy doesn’t allow for exceptions. The boys and their parents said that’s absurd.

“I feel like common sense should've come into play,” said Casey Edsall. “And I think it was outrageous, the claims that they made.”

Graham finished his suspension last week. Both boys are back playing and practicing with the team. A coach now carried a tool box for stick maintenance.

But they worry about the next student who gets caught up in a zero-tolerance issue. And they worry about lasting damage to their futures.

“I’m not sure what kind of college is gonna want a kid.. I have to write possession of a deadly weapon on my resume,” said Dennis.

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