Pocket Knives Lead to Expulsion

Two Meridian High School freshmen say they were expelled for having pocket knives at a football game. The students say they never intended to hurt anyone and that they don't feel they should have been expelled.

Dustin Freeman says officials took his pocket knife and his brother's during a recent home football game at Ray Stadium. But freeman says he and his brother were allowed to leave after handing over the knives.

"This is the first time I've ever been in trouble in any type of school activity," Freeman says.

Freeman tells Newscenter 11 that he and his brother received a letter from the school district several days later saying they were expelled from school.

"I was just shocked," he admits. "I didn't know that i could be that serious over that."

School officials say they cannot discuss the specifics of this case because of privacy laws, but they say the policy is very clear when it comes to weapons on school property.

"State law states that any activities that are related to school," MPSD Superintendent Dr. Alvin Taylor says. "So, if you're on school grounds, if you are on a school bus, or if you are at a school activity."

Bottom line, Taylor says there is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs, weapons, and violent acts on school property.

"It is my duty to recommend anybody that violates not just those school laws, but state laws, that they be recommended for expulsion," Taylor explains. "And the law is pretty clear cut on that."

"Most of the time, they'll give us a handbook," Freeman says. "And like, most students don't ever read it. But in this case, I wish I should have. I didn't know it would be this serious."

Freeman says he and his brother will attend a school district hearing on September 17th to find out whether the expulsion will be upheld.

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