School Responds To Controversial Suspension Of Student
by Todd Walker
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn - A high school student in Montgomery County has received a lot of attention following his suspension from school.
On Thursday, David Duren-Sanner drove his father's car to Northeast High School where he is a senior. During a random lockdown, his car was chosen to be searched and a fishing knife was found inside.
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.
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. He also faces weapons charges with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.
Since NewsChannel 5 broke the story, Monday, an online petition has garnered more than 13,000 signatures in support of David Duren-Sanner. The petition urges school officials to drop all charges against him, end his suspension and not punish him for days missed.
On Tuesday, Elise Shelton, spokesperson for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System said she could "guarantee" Duren-Sanner would graduate, but said it may not be the traditional way.
Shelton said the school has to look out for the safety of its students.
She says the district was forced to suspend Duren-Sanner because he was charged with having an illegal weapon on campus.
Wednesday, Duren-Sanner will attend an appeals board hearing and will find out if the some or all of the punishments he faces will be dropped.
If his punishment is upheld, Duren-Sanner will not be able to attend prom, his JROTC ball or walk at graduation.
Duren-Sanner's grandmother 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.