Clarksville, Tennessee- David Duren-Sanner, a senior in high school was suspended from school after a random vehicle search turned up a fishing knife in his father’s car.
Duren-Sanner drove his father’s car to school at Northeast High School last Thursday and a random lockdown ended up with his vehicle being chosen for a search. Since he had nothing to hide, he consented to it and authorities found one of his father’s fishing knives in the vehicle. Duren-Sanner’s father is a commercial fisherman on the West Coast and said that the knife was likely wedged in between the seats.
The high school senior was suspended for the maximum amount of time allowed according to school policy, which is 10 days, and he’s been ordered to attend 90 days of schooling at an alternative education center as additional punishment. He also faces weapons charges by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
Duren-Sanner has appealed the decision, however if he loses he won’t be able to attend prom, his JROTC ball, or the graduation ceremonies later this year.
The student told sheriffs and school officials that the vehicle wasn’t his and that he had no idea the knife was in there but it was to no avail.
“He’s like ‘it doesn’t matter it was in your possession anyway,'” Duren-Sanner said, and wonders if he’ll even be able to graduate because of a gross over reaction.
Duren-Sanner has a 3.0 grade point average, has never been to the principle’s office, and is on the honor roll, according to his grandmother Peggy Duren. She also said that they’ve stopped sending out scholarship applications since it’s not certain the fate that her grandson will face.
She also commented on the school’s policy and said “Unfortunately (the vice principal) said that’s the way it is now: Guilty until proven innocent. It’s part of this zero tolerance policy.”
There’s been a groundswell of support for Duren-Sanner and an online petition already has 600 signatures that are asking the school to drop all the charges against him, end his suspension and not punish him for the days he’s missed thus far.
Several inquiries for comment from the Clarksville-Montgomery County school district have gone unanswered.