VISD Suspends Student for Accidentally Leaving 2 1/2 Inch Pocket Knife in his Truck
I know they say rules are rules but come on. There has got to be some wiggle room somewhere. Recently, VISD conducted random searches of vehicles on the Victoria West campus when one of the dogs hit on the smell of gun powder on 16 year old Travis Reinecke's truck which gave them probable cause to search his vehicle. The search came up with a pocket knife with a 2 1/2 inch blade located in the center console of Travis' truck.
A little back story here. Travis lives on a family farm in Mission Valley. They raise everything from chickens to cows so a pocket knife is not uncommon to carry around. As for the smell of gun powder the dog picked up on? Well they usually keep a gun in the truck to deal with predatory animals like coyotes, bobcats and hogs. There was no gun in the truck at the time of the search but carrying shells leaves behind traces. Traces which, in this case, prompted the search.
That knife warranted a 3 day in school suspension for Travis and 5 day ban on him driving his truck to school. A truck that he and his little brother rely on to get to school. Now, I'm all about following the rules. However, what I'm not a fan of is blanket punishment for everyone. So you have a kid that never gets into any trouble who accidentally left a small pocket knife in the same truck he uses on his farm and he gets nailed like a criminal and forced to go through in school suspension. A suspension apparently his teachers were unaware of. They weren't even notified that he was in there. In my personal opinion VISD dropped the ball in a few different ways here. Make the kid serve some kind of detention or after school community service but to send him to in school suspension for a simple oversight? Little harsh if you ask me.
And before you say you can't handle each student on a case by case basis I beg to differ as VISD has stated that "certain items guarantee placement in an alternative education program, and other levels of consequence depend on the severity and history of the student". So if it depends on the history of the student....why wasn't Travis let off with a warning? What are your thoughts? I'm always up for good clean debates.