Punishment Reduced For Student Suspended For Father's Knife

Punishment Reduced For Student Suspended For Father's Knife

CREATED Feb 26, 2014

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Clarksville high school senior suspended because a knife was found in his father's car appealed his punishment. The appeal board decided to reduce his punishment to 30 days in alternative school, instead of 90 days.

David Duren-Sanner said the appeal board also told him he would be able to attend his prom and walk at graduation.

On the phone, he said the news was "good news" but not great news.

Duren-Sanner and his family had hoped the entire punishment would have been repealed.

He still faces charges for possession of an illegal weapon on school property from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Last Thursday, during a random lockdown at Northeast High School in Clarksville, sheriff deputies searched the car Duren-Sanner had driven to school. The car had recently been given to him by his father.

Deputies found a fishing knife in the car which Duren-Sanner said belongs to his father, and he didn't know it was in the car.  

Duren-Sanner was suspended immediately for 10 days. Officials with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System said it had to suspend him because he was charged by law enforcement for having an illegal weapon.

NewsChannel 5 broke Duren-Sanner's story on Monday and it quickly went viral around the world.

A petition posted online had nearly 20,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon urging school officials to end his suspension and drop the charges against him.

Officials with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System released a statement following the announcement of the appeals board: 

In his statement, the student acknowledged that he'd been driving the car for a while. He also said he did not know the five-inch knife was in his vehicle. Police saw the knife through the car window, located between the driver's seat and the console, which prompted the search. It is violation of state law and board policy to have any of the following on school grounds: shell or bullet, taser, Bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, lock-blade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, mace, razor blade, box cutter, or any other item of similar description or possession of any knife with a blade in excess of 3 inches in length.  

We want our students to have a safe environment and feel secure at school.  

There are times when a situation involves a zero tolerance offense where we have to look more closely at the circumstances. This was not a zero tolerance, offense, but in more severe cases we handle those with tougher consequences.

The student code of conduct clearly states that cars are subject to search; that searches will be conducted; and that students are responsible for the contents in the vehicles they drive to campus.