16-year-old Shawn Soucy’s status as an honour-roll student at Heritage Regional High isn’t enough to save him from the school board’s zero tolerance stance on knives.
Shawn regularly uses a pocket knife when lending a hand on his family’s dairy farm near Montreal. In December of last year, he discovered that the knife had ended up in his backpack. After finding weapon, he decided to show it off to his friends. Somehow the school found out about this, and sent Shawn home – permanently.
Despite its innocent existence, the Riverside School Board deemed the knife a weapon and expelled Shawn, who was in his final semester of high school.
Shawn’s parents have unsuccessfully fought the board’s decision. Recently an independent student ombudsman agreed that the expulsion was justified.
The school has allowed Shawn to write his final exams AND attend the prom (thank god!). He goes to school twice a week now, but must be taught be a tutor in an isolated part of the school.