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Clarksville Student Suspended For Knife In Father's Car

Clarksville Student Suspended For Knife In Father's Car

CREATED Feb 25, 2014

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn - A high school student in Montgomery County has been suspended after school officials found a knife inside his father's car. 

David Duren-Sanner should be spending his time going through college and scholarship applications this time of year.

Instead, he's wondering if he'll even be able to graduate after what hundreds of people are calling an overreaction to a mistake.

On Thursday, Duren-Sanner, a senior at Northeast High School drove his father's car to school. During a random lockdown, his car was chosen to be searched.

Duren-Sanner gave permission because he said he had nothing to hide.

His father is a commercial fisherman on the West Coast and had apparently left a fishing knife in the car. Duren-Sanner's father said it might have been wedged between one of the seats.

Duren-Sanner said he told school officials and the Sheriff's department the car was his father's and he didn't know the knife was in it.

"He's like 'it doesn't matter it was in your possession anyway,'" Duren-Sanner said.

School officials suspended him for 10 days, the maximum allowed under school policy, and then he was reprimanded to attend 90 days at an alternative school.

Peggy Duren is Duren-Sanner's grandmother whom he lives with. She said she tried explaining the knife didn't belong to her grandson, but claims school officials wouldn't listen.

"Unfortunately (the vice principal) said that's the way it is now: Guilty until proven innocent. It's part of this zero tolerance policy," she said."

Duren-Sanner has an appeal hearing on Wednesday with the school board.

If his punishment is upheld, Duren-Sanner will not be able to attend prom, his JROTC ball or walk at graduation. His family said it's unclear whether he'll be able to graduate at all.

Duren said her grandson has a 3.0 grade point average, is on the honor roll and he has never even been sent to the principal's office She said scholarship applications have stopped since it is unclear what her grandson's future is.

Duren-Sanner also faces weapons charges with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.

An online petition has garnered more than 600 signatures in support of Duren-Sanner. The petition urges school officials to drop all charges against him, end his suspension and not punish him for days missed.

Repeated requests for comment from the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System were not responded to.

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