Controversy Over Suspension Of 2 Easton High Lacrosse Players

EASTON, Md. (WJZ)— Outrage is growing after two high school students are suspended– one taken away in handcuffs– over items found in their lacrosse equipment bags. Those items are banned from school property.

Mike Hellgren explains the zero-tolerance controversy.

The parents of those two students say the school administrators are taking this way too far.

Talbot County schools are under fire for suspending two Easton High School lacrosse players over equipment they kept in their bags to fix their sticks.

“It’s a huge overreaction for a very minor infraction, and it wasn’t handled well at all,” said Graham Dennis, suspended student.

Laura Dennis’ son Graham had a pen knife and a Leatherman that school authorities found while they searched a team bus before it headed to a game. He now faces jail time and damage to his permanent record.

“A police officer came and took him away in handcuffs and they said ‘Give us 40 minutes, we have to process him,’ Laura Dennis said. “So they did mug shots and they fingerprinted. I was able to pick him up from the police department 45 minutes later.”

Doug Edsall’s son Casey had a lighter he also used to fix his lacrosse stick.  The school classified it as an explosive device.

“The school administration apparently stepped in, and I think the wheels came off at that point. I think a big mistake was made,” Doug Edsall said.

“I’m just really terrified of what could happened, and it’s just been real emotional for myself and Graham of what we’ve been through,” said Casey Edsall, suspended student.

The school refused to answer any questions. Instead they sent WJZ a statement that says the students broke state law: “The criminal law does not have an exemption for any class of students. Disciplinary decisions are often controversial.”

“To charge him for having a deadly weapon for a two-inch pocket knife is ridiculous,” Laura Dennis said. “It’s such a waste of everyone’s time and energy.”

The Maryland state school board is already taking a look at whether zero-tolerance policies go too far.

The parents of these students say the administrators’ actions here are out of line and their sons have never been in trouble and didn’t intend to harm anyone.

“You can hide behind a zero-tolerance policy. But I do believe that common sense needs to be applied, and unfortunately was not done in this instance,” Doug Edsall said.

“It makes me feel like I can’t trust people in a position of authority like that,” Graham said. “It’s scary to think that they would do something to a kid that doesn’t have any problems.”

 The students have served their suspension. It’s unclear what might happen next, though, with these charges.

The school administrators say a team of staff members evaluated the case before making a decision about the punishment.

More from Mike Hellgren
  • williejoe

    There needs to be an appeal room to talk about these kinds of issues when they happen. Coaches are responsible for dictating the terms of the can do can not do’s & the students need to firmly understand the rules. It has come to this in today’s crazy society.

    • atasteoftea

      Juveniles are not to be handcuffed or finger printed. These were white boys and that is why this happened. Were the cops black?

      • Ronnie

        OH PLEASE…. why play the race card! What difference does it make. Get over it!

      • SteveG

        How about a zero tolerance policy for public schools? Educate your own young; we did. It’s the best move we ever made, and our kids have done very well in life.

      • SandriaM

        Juveniles are to be handcuffed if the penalty is severe enough, also does anyone here know either of the young men? I know one of the young men, and can say that he has put more then a toe out of line before.

        Besides, rules are rules, if a student talks out in class, they have a consequence, it doesn’t matter if you were asking for a pencil or you were gossiping with your friend, rules are rules, and rules are to be followed.

        Grow up people, if you don’t pay your rent because you lost your job, tough, you still need to pay your rent.

        These students have agendas with the rules on them, they also have a website with the rules posted. You might say “Well, not all kids have computers”, but these ones do, they are the only county in Maryland with laptops for each student, so grow up, and learn the lesson that is offered to you; it will not ruin your life, if an employer or college asks, they find it amazing when a student learns from his/her mistake and grows.

      • Doug

        @ SandriaM

        WHO ARE YOU???

        i am a parent of one of the kids busted.

        Never assume you know the facts.

        Per the Talbot County Student Handbook, students can be assigned detention, suspension, or expulsion for Possesion of Contraband (including “Dangerous Weapons”).

        NO mention is made of a lighter, anywhere. Nor a knife of any size or description. Per section 4-101.a(ii)2. of the Maryland Code, “Weapon” does not include a penknife.

        So, if these students viewed their items as lacrosse tools, used them as lacrosse tools, and they are commonly considered lacrosse tools, how and when did they become weapons, and how were the students to know that?

        I agree rules are rules, but what and where is the rule? With this amount of vagueness, Do Not blame the kids !!!

    • NotDeadYet

      The reasoning behind zero tolerance is that we are not allowed to use human judgment to differentiate between a two inch leatherman and a nine inch switchblade. Because any attempt to punish the young thugs with switchblades was labeled “racist”. (Obviously, the only reason for punishing a student with a switchblade would be his race.) This is the product of the crazy liberal left being left in charge of education. And it’s probably worth noting that one of the biggest proponents of zero tolerance was Bill Ayers. I know, I know… just another coincidence.

      The mainstream of America is going to rise up soon. Hopefully it won’t be too late.

    • atasteoftea


      Our police have become Union Thugs who are only in it for the money. Now that child who was handcuffed and booked has a record and his life is ruined. How much longer are we going to allow this renegade government continue? The Greatest Generation would never have tolerated this.

    • Denver

      I went to junior high school in 1969-70. Our school offered riflery as a physical education class. 30 of us, 11-13 year old’s rode to school, on a bus, ARMED with 100 rnds of .22 ammo and our favorite .22 caliber rifle.

      Stoopid liberals.

    • Ron

      The same parents outraged over this will be the same parents outraged when a student is stabbed with a 2″ pen knife demanding the school should have prevented this. If parents fail to properly raise their kids and instill self responsibility then it is left up to the government to deal with your brats hence today’s policy. As far as politics. It is a GOVERNMENT school it is all about politics. Take responsibility for your own kids, HOMESCHOOL.

      • Brian

        We need to clear out idiots like you from the gene pool. Our society is better off without irrational people like you who think they are always right without instilling common sense. I know you don’t understand this concept because you are brainwashed by the fake fundamentals that you have been taught by our all so “normal” society. I don’t even think you read the story.

      • ChevalierdeJohnstone

        Absolutely right. Homeschool.

        It appears a number of people went to U.S. government schools and were thus unable to understand Ron’s comment, leading them to post insultingly outraged comments the gist of which are that they pretty much agree with him.

      • Pam

        Finally an response with some intelligence. It is not Republican or Democrat problem this problem lays at the feet of parents willing to hand their kids over to government union employees. This did not start yesterday this is a manifestation of selling out our children years ago to the government.

      • Jane

        @ Raven Mad: ” Parents are crucified if they hire an attorney to defend their kid, and villified when they don’t get legal help and their kid ends up in jail. System sucks…and it’s all because the school board lets the lawyers determine how much risk they’re willing to take, instead of bringing a number of factors into how you discipline these kids” Clearly, you two have experienced justice the Talbot County way… This is the bigger picture of things here people. We have a school board that is told what/how to think by the school lawyer and “top” people. The board has been prohibited time and time again to reach out to their voters/parents, and just like Raven Mad said, God forbid you try to fight for you child’s rights… for this instance, or any other… my kids no longer attend these public schools because of their upside down politics, policies and bureaucracy.

      • John

        Someone should craft a microscopic knife with a 0.1mm length blade that you could only see with a microscope and bring it into that school (along with a microscope) to prove to the school administrators that it is indeed a microscopic knife and see what they do…I can see the newspaper article now – student arrested for having a microscopic knife that can’t even cut through the most superficial layers of the skin….ZERO TOLOERANCE!!!!

      • Frank

        So you’re justifying arresting the kids and giving them a criminal record over the 2″ pen knife used to repair their equipment. The truth is they didn’t stab anyone with the pen knife which in which case arresting them would be justified. Bottom line is the school went too far. It has become common in our institutions for people with authority to think that they can act in an imperial manner with impunity and seeing everyone beneath them as some kind of slave. Sue the school and vote out elected school officials who permit this kind of senseless reaction.

      • Yirmin Snipe

        If knives were banned then he should be suspended, but to call the police claiming it was a deadly weapon is silly. Most states have laws that clearly define what a deadly weapon is and a 2 inch knife isn’t long enough in any state I’m aware of… most have to be beyond 3 inches to be considered deadly, some are even longer.

      • Mike

        Absolutely Ron, and take away pencils while you’re at it so we won’t have outraged parents when somebody’s brat stabs someone in the eye with one. Oh, and books too, so that the little anarchists don’t smack someone in the head causing a closed head brain injury. It is up to the government to deal with these brats, especially those who get good grades, are involved in extracurricular activities like lacrosse, (in order to be on the team, you must maintain a gpa) and show up everyday…

      • dudette45

        My son played lacrosse for eight years–he was constantly adjusting his “stick” using his swiss army knife and lighter or matches–these are the very well-known tools used by lax players. Coaches instructed him on how to make adjustments.
        I believe this situation needs merits further investigation, i.e. overall record and character of these two students.

      • Piloit.Dave

        So the kid now has a COTIS number – something that can NEVER be removed no matter what. When I was in school, the scool TOLD us to have a pen knife in our pocket (in Michigan 3″ is considered a weapon, unless the NAZI have change that too….

        Nope, this ranks up there with defending the TSA for grpping a 6 year old girl, or the baby in Kansas City yesterday – NAZI Police State, hello. Good By USA Freedom.

      • Raven Mad

        I would certainly file a lawsuit against the school, and get depositions from every school board member, coach and administrator…and ask them straight up if they’ve ever in their life had a small pocket knife, lighter or matches on them on school grounds…even when they were students. If we can keep lawyers out of the schools by putting these ‘escalation’ policies in place, life would be so much simpler. School says ‘we can’t do’s in the police dept’s hands. Police say ‘we can do anything…it’s in the district attorneys’ hands.’ District attorney is running for governor and can’t make a weak decision. Parents are crucified if they hire an attorney to defend their kid, and villified when they don’t get legal help and their kid ends up in jail. System sucks…and it’s all because the school board lets the lawyers determine how much risk they’re willing to take, instead of bringing a number of factors into how you discipline these kids. Perhaps having them run stadium stairs for 30 minutes would have been enough in this case? Come on school leaders…..wake up!!!

      • Epstein's Mother

        Whenever you hear someone — especially a politician — talk about “protecting the children,” be prepared to give up some of your civil rights.

    • MinnFinn

      A light “an explosive device” and a pocket knife “a dangerous weapon”. These people (school officials) are insane. It’s best to move their familes away from such schools and people of so little capability to discern right/wrong and normal human behavior from true dangers. Keeping their kids in with such pinheaded
      school officials. We really do live in the “Age of Stupidity” (Dennis Prager)

      • LPB1980

        Try taking either onto a plane

      • A Voice

        In defense of the stance that the pocket knife is a dangerous weapon, please remember that the planes on 9/11 were hijacked by terrorists with box cutters, which also are no more than 2 inches. I am confused by the explosive weapon stance but yes, a knife, any knife, of any length, is a dangerous weapons. And just remember, if someone had used that knife to attack, everyone would be screaming for the heads of the school officials for not protecting the students. These rules are in place for a reason and not because of “stoopid liberals”.




      • Stolid

        @ A Voice: A pen, pencil, stapler, scotch tape dispenser, and lacrosse stick are all dangerous weapons that could take over a school bus and/or airplane. Matches are also explosive devices – all thanks to illiberal logic.

      • blame teachers

        I would like to have every single teacher searched then. You are telling me that not one of them smokes – that thye do not have a lighter on them at all times…..

      • Andy C.

        @Voice, the hijackers also had malicious intent. Nothing about this story suggests malicious intent, or even as much as common teenage foolishness. The hijackings were successful largely because of our collective policy of sitting quietly and giving into the hijacker’s demands. Should we continue to sit quietly by while our lives and freedoms are hijacked by authorities wielding zero tolerance, rules-are-rules nonsense?

    • Lauren

      @citizen, no I was not referring only to abortion, although Republicans DO want to tell women what they can and cannot do with their uteri. I was referring to their attempts to defund PP, forcing millions of low income men & women to skip any sort of healthcare, their attempts to tell us which medicines are good (anything from big pharma) and which are bad (anything else, vitamins, supplements, etc). Medically I was referring to the plan to kill Medicare and Medicaid, again, forcing millions to skip any sort of healthcare. Medicinally I was referring to marijuana laws, the FDA, etc. Religiously I was referring to Republican’s attempts to turn our government into their moral playground to force the majority of this country to live by their minority-held views. Educationally I was referring to their attempts to dumb down our children, destroy public education and make it even more difficult for everyone but the fortunate few to go to college.

      And yet, republicans claim to be the party for smaller government. Their actions certainly do not speak to their words, except when it’s in obeyance to their corporate overlords. Smaller government for business, sure, but they want BIGGER goverment for the rest of us. They want to tell us how we live, who we can love/marry, what we can and cannot do with our own bodies and what we are allowed or forbidden to do in the privacy of our own homes.

    • keith

      These “administrators” are morons. They should not be allowed anywhere near the educational system. Maybe they could work fast food,but not as managers.

    • Sam Wikwiki

      Quote from school:
      “The criminal law does not have an exemption for any class of students.”

      OH YES it does!!!


      Illegal Alien students are not prosecuted for breaking the law!

      AND they get to go to public school for FREE. If you bring your nephew from Switzerland over here – LEGALLY, and sign him up for high school – you will have to pay $7000 per year for him to go to public school!

      What a jacked-up system this public education is……

    • marine camp

      @citizen Did you miss the elect cycles of the 90s? The GOP “Contract With America” sold to the american people as “personal responsibility” legislation is all about “zero tolerance”. Every politican who wanted to be elected ran on a platform of increasing punishments and limiting official discretion in legal issues

      • marine camp

        @combat vet You are right the terms are not inchangeable, but they go hand in hand. My point was that people in positions of authority have been stripped of their discretionary abilities by laws enacted during the 90s under the auspice of “personal responsibility” and “tough on crime” mantels. Common sense is no longer allowed to rule the day. I, personally, would like to see only repeat “violent” offenders locked up for a long-long time, especially since it is on mine and your’s dime. Human nature is not balck and white, neither should the laws of this country be rigidly black and white. There needs to be both discretion and common sense available to officials confronted with these types of situations.

      • Dave

        Are you talking about the ‘Three Strikes’ Law? How can you compare this school ‘Zero Policy’ rule to somebody who convicted of three felony’s?

      • marine camp

        @Dave Yes and no, 3 strikes were a part of the zero tolerance policies; such as: Felony DUI, plus, ex-felon with firearm, plus petty theft, equal 25 years (min.) to life at taxpayer expense; or any other examples of non-violent felonies being conbined to get the 3 strikes laws invoked (California was a great example of official stupidity run amok.) This is stupid, and a gross waste of money. Judges were stripped of their descretion to use “common sense”. School adminstrators were stripped of their descretion to use “common sense” in cases like this one. The law is black and white–no shades of gray. Officials have all been stripped of their ability to use “common sense”. Hence, the above situation is the norm now, not the exception.

      • combat vet

        @marine camp, you’re trying to use “3 strikes” and “zero tolerance” interchangeably. They are not. Most people agreed that 3 felonies (non-violent or not) were enough evidence to indicate the perpetrator needed to be taken off the streets. Most of these zero tolerance policies at schools came after the Columbine tragedy (Notice how Clinton’s gun-free zones–passed in 1990–failed miserably, but that’s another topic). Many thought they were knee-jerk, overly broad reactions (when kids were suspended for toy guns, pictures of guns, and yes, even using their fingers). Fear of litigation drove a lot of this, and a lot of the litigation precedent is rooted in liberal ideology that eschews individual responsibility in favor of blaming authority, the community, etc. Oh, and aside from liberal judges (you seem to have missed this in your attack on 3 strikes) let’s not forget the juries’ roles. A return to the concept of “individual responsibility” will go a long way to fixing this mess, and that concept is anathema to liberals more so than conservatives.

    • Ashley

      Athletes need to push the envelope on the over the top regulations of zero tolerance. They are the only “group” in government schools with enough clout to get their community off the couch and back to common sense.

    • Greg

      Look, why don’t these parents sue the school system? And challenge the law in court? After all that would have been the first thing a leftwinger would have done.

      Also why not protest outside the homes, like the union thugs do, of the administrators of this school system?

      Long term, get the law changed. While good sense is never common, it is very much lacking among those educated beyond their intelligence. But I do think that the MD legislature would respond to this given the number of parents who are upset.

      • Lisa

        Good luck getting to court… many, many, many parents have tried, and because the county has “discretionary” funds, you can be sure they have and will continue to use every single trick up their sleeve to exhaust the resouces of those trying to fight for their rights in an impartial, thereby “just” forum. Not a chance and Talbot County will do everything in its power to avoid accountability and truth in justice.

    • sick and tired

      since when was a knife and lighter against the law? School policy okay but illegal?

      • SandriaM

        When students enter a school, they forgo any rights (if they are over the age of 18, under 18, you have none) that they have under the Constitution, so the Constitution argument doesn’t fly here, sorry.

        The school makes the rules, again, it’s the way it is, you can protest to change it, but the only way it will change is with action, not simply hitting reply, if you want something done, go to the schoolboard meetings, and make your voice heard.

    • Dave

      Appeal? Are you kidding? The teachers union would never let that fly, they need the weapons confiscation statistics to justify teachers salaries and benefits.

    • heartless_libertarian

      Vote libertarian, we don’t believe in any of this bull.

      This is typical lefty policy, though the social conservatives have their own set of issues I’ve never thought tit for tat was great argument.

      These kids had tools related to the activity they were participating in, the actions of the school admins, the police, and those that created these rules in the first place defy logic and common sense, whether they were D or R.

    • Jeff Dege

      No., There doesn’t need to be an appeal process. We need to recognize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a kid carrying a pocket knife to school.

    • YES WE CON!


    • George

      Appeals yes, sueing NO!!. Its not the school officials that will have to pay but taxpayers will, since that is where the money comes from. If the officials who made this call had to worry that they would actually have some RESPONABILITY about what they do, then maybe they would act different.

    • Wendy Weinbaum

      As a Jewess in the US, I say: Zero tolerance is INTOLERANCE! Stupidity like THIS is why all REAL Americans now put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!! Remember also that America wasn’t won with a registered gun.

    • coyotesx5

      Friggin idiots. I am so friggin sick of idiotic cops who take things so far. They are empty-headed authority freaks.

  • ben

    How is a lighter a weapon?

    • Julian

      The kids needed the lighter to smoke weed during the break and needed to carry a knife in case someone messed with them.

      These kids would have been arrested sooner or later for a bigger crime. There is not reason for school kids to carry lighters and knives

      • Mike Marshall

        Julian, Do you know the kids personally? If not, shut up you idiot!

      • Dave

        Julian, it sounds like you are smoking something….

      • heartless_libertarian

        Guilty until proven innocent right, there’s a dictator somewhere looking for you sheep.

      • Laurie

        Julian has a guilty conscious =/

    • daryl d duke

      Maybe to light gas as it leaves your body (fart)

      • Laurie


    • Piggly Winks

      Oh, I guess you’ve never set some papers down in a pile and lit it? I believe that can start a fire, which can cause damage. You can take a stick, wrap a shirt around it like a touch, and go after folks. I beleive that could be a weapon.

      CMON Ben.. think.

      • rlo

        How many teachers and admininstrators do you think had lighters in their possession at that school? You telling me none of them smoke? This is getting ridiculous. Zero tolerance instead of common sense. And yes, this is all political. Have to treat everyone the same or someone gets their feelings hurt or civil rights stepped on.

      • bill

        Why go to all that trouble – just use the stick as a weapon but soon sticks will be illegal also

      • Ratt

        You all need to remember that we are supposed to be the land of the free and home of the BRAVE. How brave is it to fear a pocket knife and cigarette lighter? Seriously, in high school, my friend took an axe with him so that we could go straight to the site where we were building a cabin/clubhouse after school. He had it tied to his bicycle crossbar (circa 1979). My father regularly carried his 16-gauge shotgun to school with him, so that he and his friends could hunt after school. He kept it in his locker with his books (1950s). What has happened since is pathetic and should be an embarrassment to our country.

      • HaroldJohanson

        You can’t carry a torch unless you have a pitchfork too.

      • Bill

        @Piggly Winks – I can use a ballpoint pen to kill someone. Ban those, too, from school? Don’t try to justify the actions of these administrators. They reacted poorly.

      • Mark The RV Guy

        Lil Piggly you think. A notebook, or a magazine can be rolled up and used like a hammer and to deadly effect. It is absurd to say a common lighter is an explosive devise. One cannot make it explode on command. The whole zero tolerance position demonstrates the stupidity of the left. None of those laws prevent violence, and only serve to abuse power of government.

      • Fanny Forbes Franklen

        Your fists are weapons … you need to be in handcuffs 24/7 .. maybe legs too.

        And we just voted .. so you must no comply. Have a great day.

      • Tom

        Your right Piggly Winks, you could also use a magnifing glass and a piece of paper to start a fire, then wrap your shirt arounf a ruler and you have a torch.

      • Null Crc

        No, YOU think. The lighter is a tool in that case, not a weapon.

      • Stagger Lee

        Why go to all that trouble ? Just use the stick itstself to hit somebody over the head, its a lot easier, and there are no sharp objects or explosives involved.

      • Stan B

        “How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear!”

      • Eric_H

        Ok, lets take a look at P.W.’s argument; including terms like ‘I believe’ and ‘can cause damage’. Lets take your ordinary #2 pencil – which could be sharpened.

        I believe that could cause damage, and could be a weapon. Lets just call them a ‘destructive device’. Why not – “I believe” it “can cause damage” therefore its destructive. Lets take the law: (1) “Destructive device” means … incendiary material ( um wood – burns ok), … that is: (i) combined with a delivery … apparatus (a person) so as to be capable of inflicting injury to persons or damage to property.

        MD Section 4-503 of the penal code indicates that manufacture of a ‘destructive device’ is a 25 year felony.

        Should we now arrest teachers that hand out sharpened #2 pencils as ‘illicit arms dealers’? Lets quote the school: “The criminal law does not have an exemption for any class ….” So lets arrest the teachers too. They created these implements of destruction WITH SCHOOL RESOURCES. I suspect that the materials may have been supplied by the administration for said purposes – making it a CONSPIRACY! Jail them all.
        – or –
        Can we finally get some common sense and strike these absurd ‘Zero Tolerance’ rules. Otherwise at some point we may have people being arrested for the mere act of holding a sharpened pencil.

      • Sared

        You sir or ma’am are an idiot

      • ed murray

        I guess pencils and pens are weapons too. I have a ruler with a metal edge, could hurt somebody, must be a weapon. Actually, come to think of it, the courts have determined that shoes are a deadly weapon. Let’s have all kids go to schooll with no pens, pencils, or rulers and definitely without any footwear. Then there was the underwear bomber; there goes underwear. we’re being overrun by the drug adled idiots of the sixties and seventies at last!

      • troy

        Hey Pig, By your logic the pens and pencil’s students use in school are considered weapons as well.

      • useyourbrains

        In Texas we learned several years ago that zero tolerance isn’t using your brains. We now look at each individual issue before deciding punishment. In an era where we are trying to keep kids in school, why not use some common sense in a case like this? They obviously use those items in their sport. And, they were great kids. By the way, a match can be just as dangerous as a lighter, if you are planning on setting a pile of papers on fire.

      • dave

        FFS, you can sharpen a #2 pencil and jam it in someone’s eye. Now THAT is a weapon.

      • Piggly Winks

        1st of all, I’m not saying the admin was right. A weapon is something used to attack or defend or used against an opponent. You can hash all you want if its a tool or not, but its still aiding in the injury or destruction of something/one else. A Notebook, a pen, your fingers, are all weapons when used to attack, defend or destroy something. And to the RV guy, a gun technically cannot kill you. its the bullet that does the trick. So in your thinking, shouldn’t the gun be just a tool, and not the weapon?

        that said, the admins and the zero policy is foolish. I never said otherwise, for all you idiots saying or assuming I did.

      • tylerjake

        Piddly Winks your name suits you. You are a whiney, spineless cry baby liberal who knows NOTHING about Lacrosse. Go back to your Volvo station wagon and your tofu.

      • Piggly Winks

        tylerjake… Unless you know what the hell you are talking about, go back home and hush. Don’t like Tofu, don’t drive a volvo (although they are safe). Not Liberal either. I’d throw some other nuggets of info, but why bother, everything you learned was back in Kindergarten. No point arguing.

      • Laurie

        Don’t forget the toilets in the bathrooms! You could drown someone in one of those bad boys….dun dun dun dun *sigh*

    • meestergoat

      under a new obama democratic plan, all newborns will be deboned at birth. a child with not bones is a quivering mass of protoplasm and much less likely to harm others, pinguins, polar bears and baby seals..

    • Tracey McCann

      Better get those chairs outta the classrooms, and the fire extinguishers off the wall. Get the erasers off the chalk board. I can knock you out cold with an eraser from across the classroom

  • John

    What the heck is “A Weapon”?
    I could argue that anything and everything could be a “Weapon”.

    This country has gotten ridiculous in its attempt to be nannies to us all.

    • Bill

      Isn’t a lacrosse stick a weapon?

      • Brooke

        My thoughts exactly!

      • sheriff

        My dic is a weapon!

      • Vlad the Impala

        No, Sheriff, yours is more of a public nuisance than a weapon.

      • Piggly Winks

        More like an embarrassment.

      • Laurie

        That’s what I’m saying. That lacrosse stick could F someone up quicker than a lighter or a 2 inch knife. That stick will send both of those dealy weapons out of someones hands without being in arms distance.

    • Cpm

      I have a feeling that lacrosse stick is more dangerous than anything else he carried in his bag. What about the baseball team, travelling around with all those dangerous wooden clubs? Kids look to adults for guidance and common sense and then this happens and all of a sudden ‘adults’ look like morons.

    • Jennifer Warwick

      If they are saying that the items that these kids had in there bags to fix their lacrosse sticks are weapons then they should consider pens and pencils weapons as well shouldn’t they. I mean you can stab somebody with a pen or pencil can’t you.

      I agree with you completey this whole thing is completely rediculous. I mean not all schools have the money or funds to hire trainers to fix the kids sticks and not all kids are rich enough to be able to afford to have a second stick to play with.

      • LottaMoxie

        Pens and pencils – just as I was about to post.
        A knife, fork, spoon, hairbrush, and comb can be used to stab someone.
        And then there are books and shoes to hit someone with.
        Or a shoestring, shirt, handkerchief or bra to strangle someone with.

        Why not accost the administrators on campus and arrest them for carrying “weapons’ on campus?

  • Cathy

    Worry more about taking the guns away from kids in Baltimore City than items from sports players used to repair equipment. I agree with John above, honestly everything could be a weapon. My father was in the army in Vietnam and said he could do more damage to someone with just a simple pen than a box cutter or normal knife. Leave the kids who are doing good alone, and go after the ones who are fighting in the streets and killing each other in Baltimore City.

  • whatnow

    Our PC society run amok!

  • wowsers

    Any blade under 4″ isn’t a weapon…you can’t stab someone with a pen knife and do major damage…it’s not long enough to get through the skin and muscle. come on folks,..enough with the babying and whacky rules, let’s get a grip…the kid could do more damage with the lax stick than he could a pen knife…OMG HE’S PULLED OUT THE FILE!!!!! HE’S GONE CRAZY!!!!!!

  • Bob Usher

    goverment run amok. They cannot define a weapon so they ban everything and say they are doing it to protect the children. Bull. They overeact and it the parents who are to blame and the citizens. Its supposed to be our goverment, not the other way around. Thomas Jefferson said it is up to the people to control their goverment or the goverment will control them. Who’s the boss?

  • Way beyond STUPID...

    Any tool can be a weapon. A rolled up newspaper can be a weapon. A ballpoint pen or pencil can be a weapon. What happened to common sense?

    • AnthonyS

      “A ballpoint pen can be a weapon. What happened to common sense?”

      Common sense can be a weapon.

      Let’s start using it and throw these bunch of bureaucrats out with the next round of elected officials that appoint them. The problem is not the politicians, but the agencies that create rules that don’t have to go under the constitutional legislative microscope. We need political leaders who will promise to clean house in these agencies, that’s what we need.

  • Kevin K Kelley

    A baseball bat can be a weapon When I went to school we had buck knifes on our sides and never had any problems

  • sheriff

    Take em out back & knock the snot outa them.

    • spank em

      i agree sheriff, these kids were out of line and need to be water boarded!!! that lighter is the sign of a junior homegrown terrorist in the works…better contact homeland security and fbi to check this kid out….

      • CommonSense

        I think he meant the school officials…

  • Dave Bell

    I am sick and tired of parents who signed onto the Zero Tolerance Policy and when its their poor babies caught in these policies its all hell broke loose. Enough. Rules/laws must be hard to drive home the point of a society based on the rule of law and not individual passions. Its the idiotic kowtowing of school administrators to the loudest voice and not to the principle of discipline and their duty that is the problem, not the rules. I bet good money the cool jock kids knew exactly what the rules were and the parents had the list of items prohibited. Everybody…GROW UP and SHUT UP.

    • YouFunny

      Sounds like someone was a ‘nerd’ in school and has an axe to grind with the ‘cool athletes’. Better not grind that axe anywhere near school grounds, though…

    • AnthonyS

      Have you SEEN the massive mounds of information government school kids are given at the beginning of the school year? And now it’s May.

      Laws for “average people” will NEVER work, because there’s no such thing as a real “average person”. Individual responsibility is what we need to be teaching these kids, not “collective safety netting”. Knives never killed one kid in my school growing up, and like Kevin above, we would wear them on our belts. Knives don’t kill people. People kill people. And a determined person is not going to be deterred by a rule. That’s the whole point. If he or she is willing to kill someone, they aren’t going to stop because they’re afraid of getting detention over bringing the weapon to do it.

      What complete lunacy. You can’t legislate responsibility OR morality. Get out of my rights. They’re not yours to regulate.

      • JoeE

        I agree. My carrying a knife doesn’t make me a killer, anymore than my carrying a carton of milk makes me a cow.

    • whatnow

      Take your own advice.

    • EHSLAX

      You are the one that obviously needs to grow up, “cool jock kids?” You obviously had some problems with people that played sports when you were younger. And as i go to Easton, nobody is handed a list of weapons that are prohibited in school, these kids did not know that their bags would be randomly searched one day right before they left for a game, And they were not worried because they used these items to fix their sticks, and if they didn’t have these items, they would not be able to play in the game as their stick would not be legal in NFHS rules, and as one of the teams coaches is a homicide detective for the state police, he should have been the one to determine the punishments, as he was outraged by the random search and the suspending of two of his players, and the ruining of their lives as one will have a criminal record for the rest of his life, and the other lost out on multiple scholarships as he gets Principals Honer Roll every quarter. So you are the one that obviously needs to SHUT UP and GROW UP as you don’t know the real situation of these kids and you do not know the real story as you just heard it partially from the news.

      • CAL-LAX-DAD

        My son carries these item in his lacrosse bag and the coaches have them in their equipment bags as well. This is standard operating procedure for string adjustments. Next thing we’ll be banning 3/4 inch cleats as possible.

        Our world is full of loony do gooders. Welcome to the Animal Farm!

    • Doug

      @ Dave Bell

      i am a parent of one of the kids busted.

      Never assume you know the facts.

      Per the Talbot County Student Handbook, students can be assigned detention, suspension, or expulsion for Possesion of Contraband (including “Dangerous Weapons”).

      NO mention is made of a lighter, anywhere. Nor a knife of any size or description. Per section 4-101.a(ii)2. of the Maryland Code, “Weapon” does not include a penknife.

      So, if these students viewed their items as lacrosse tools, used them as lacrosse tools, and they are commonly considered lacrosse tools, how and when did they become weapons, and how were the students to know that?

      I agree rules are rules, but what and where is the rule? With this amount of vagueness, Do Not blame the kids !!!

  • Mark

    Northeast High School in Pasadena has a history of teachers sexually abusing their students and none of the female teachers serve any time. Apparently, common knowledge to the students is never available to the teachers and school police officers whose primary job appears to be hall monitor and parking lot director. So much for school feigning legal responsibilities. This is about socializing everyone to be compliant.

    • AnthonyS

      “Northeast High School in Pasadena has a history of teachers sexually abusing their students ”

      Then by the Maryland School Board’s logic, they should ban teachers from school property. After all, it’s for the safety of the children, right?

    • Charlie

      You hit the nail on the head.

      The goal of this is to teach people that “The Authority” can and will exercise power both arbitrary and capricious manor. Stay in line and do what your told, and don’t you dare exercise one bit of initiative because we will crush you.

      I also question all the effort and resources that went into searching a bus full of student athletes with no prior behavior problems. Couldn’t these resources be better spent teaching students and improving educational outcomes.

      Then again this is the same society (ours) that searches everyone at the airport equally and does not focus its search efforts on those most likely to cause harm.

  • Bob

    I don;t think this is a case of an athlete asking for special treatment. These weren’t kids caught at a kegger and tring to avoid punishment. If the cool jock kids as you call them were trying to get away with something, they would have had the items in their pockets, not in a bag on the bus. I think someone should be asking why the bags were searched in the first place.

  • Easton High School Lacrosse Players

    […] lacrosse players over equipment they kept in their bags to fix their sticks.  Read the ful story here. Filed Under: […]

  • Keith

    Under Maryland Law a penknife is not a weapon unless it has a switchblade.

    5) (i) “Weapon” includes a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade knife, star knife, sandclub, metal knuckles, razor, and nunchaku.

    (ii) “Weapon” does not include:
    1. a handgun; or
    2. a penknife without a switchblade.

    • they got what was coming

      Hey Keith,

      That is great to see what the Maryland law says, but why dont you read the Maryland public school law. Are these kids special because they play sports do you think they are above the law, no where does it say it is okay for Athletes to carry knives, and lighters but if you do not play sports you can not. You people need to give it a rest.

      • dunny

        You have no understanding of lacrosse equipment and how to fix it. There really isn’t much you can use except a knife and a lighter to tighten the net on the sticks. You can try tape, but it can come undone. You need a lighter to melt the leather ties and a knife to cut them shorter. It’s really not a big deal except to those that feel they are protecting people. I mean really. A lighter? An explosive device?

      • Doug

        The law is the “stupid” part of this. As government tries to protect everyone over zealous politicians use tragic, emotional events as a soapbox for media attention and hopefully votes. It’s sad when a child is hurt or killed but we don’t need another law every time it happens.

      • They start with the kids....

        No one is asking for “special treatment” for just these particular kids, it is the whole zero tolerance that is not acceptable. Have you ever read “1984” by George Orwell? You may get a better idea why “zero tolerance” is more dangerous than any lighter or penknife. Commone sense and government/administration are seldom found in the same vicinity.

      • AnthonyS

        Three cheers for “They start with the kids”.

        Zero tolerance applies FAIRLY to ZERO people.

        How many of these almost forgotten laws are violated by this “rule”?

        Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

        No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

        Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

        In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

      • Doug

        Don’t run with scissors – you’ll get arrested!

      • Lisa

        I agree 100% if my son just a student at the school was caught with the same thing in his bookbag he would recieve the same punishment but i guess because they are lacrosse players it is ok for them to have the items on school property to fix there equipment………… Maybe the punishment was a little harsh but school policy is school policy it would be no different if they were trying to fly somewhere when those items were banned from planes Do you think the airline would have said Oh you need that to fix your equipment go ahead and take it with you.. No

      • gina

        I guess because they are athletes they are above the law! and their parents think they are too.

  • Brian

    I’m glad I’m not a school kid in America. What should be the best days of your life is turning out to be a nightmare and the worst days of a kids life
    A boy can’t be a boy anymore.
    One day these boys are our future soldiers, airmen and navy god help us.
    The schools are bringing up kids to be scared of their own shadows.
    Pathetic really pathetic

  • stu1105

    Tell the SHERIFF that the airlines let you take “lighters”on an airliner and they dont see it as a weapon…someone pull his head out of his #$%

    • sheriff

      Stu1105, Now I see, Yu carry a lighter to see your way through life. Tis you Mon that has his head up his arse!

      • sheriff

        Oh & Stu1105, I forgot, this is school we’re talking about & not airlines. Do know the difference or do you need a lighter again son.?

    • whatnow

      I think he was being sarcastic.

    • Keith

      Town police made arrest, not the county.

      • AnthonyS

        He was talking to a poster who called himself “Sheriff”. See above.

  • debia

    My daughter’s elementary school had a zero tolerance policy on chap stick. Yes if your child had chapped lips you needed a note from a doctor and it had to be kept in the office and applied in front of the school nurse….government run amok, indeed

  • Robert

    Why is everyone questioning the actions of the administration when it was the kids who violated a regulation by bringing what could be used a weapon onto school proplerty. This was a serious infraction and punishment was evaluated by several school administrators. Rather than whining about how unfair the school’s actions were, the parents should teach their kids that the regulations are there for a reason and that they apply to eveyrone equally. If one of these so called “good kids” had injured themselves or another student while innocently adjusting an equipment item everyone would be asking why did that kid have that knife in their bag? None of these kids are special, and should not be above the school board’s regulations. Life isn’t always fair, but these kids violated a regulation and should be punished just like any other kid that brought what the contraband onto campus.

    • Ben

      Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

    • Mike

      @ Robert—-Are you really that dense? It’s not about violating the rule, it’s the fact that the rule should not be in place to begin with. Zero tolerance NEVER works. There can always be mitigating factors. To ignore them is criminal..

    • Sam

      > violated a regulation by bringing what could be used a weapon onto school property.

      Let’s have a little fight to prove a point. You get a leatherman tool and a pen knife. I get a lacrosse stick. Who’s going to win?

      • hawker1

        Sam, you beat me to the punch. A pen knife and a lighter aren’t nearly as capable of being used as a weapon as a LaCrosse stick. Hope someone brings this point up at whatever hearing these kids get. Just remember, ANYTIME you give a bureaucrat (Democrat, Republican, or Whatever) any kind of authority, this sort of SAPFU is exactly what will happpen. Everytime! Count on it.

    • Greg

      No, you seem to missing the point. The regulation was stupid, maybe even unconstitutional. How many of you protest if the adminstration sets a dress code? What if the administration dictated what religions would be acceptable? Or how your home life is conducted.

      Zero Tolerance is stupid. It is an example of why public education is failing. And why Americans are rebelliing.

    • Bill

      Well Robert – you see, the kids never even considered them to be “weapons” by any stretch of the imagination. Both are tools used in the pursuit of their sports.

      Like a few others who posted – During my high school years my mustang was left unlocked and a 30-30 Winchester or a 20-gauge semi-automatic pump occupied my back seat. For after school, I often would go deer or squirrel hunting. A knife stayed in my pocket for many years until I could no longer carry one on the airplanes. I still carry one frequently to work. It is a TOOL – not a weapon.

    • Bryan

      The administration took what could have been handled with common sense and went to the extreme with it. Instead of coming up with an alternate solution for dealing with lacrosse repairs and calming the situation, the administration acted stupidly and with paranoia. Now these kids carry pointless marks on their records and are being traumatized for nothing. Most anything can be used as a weapon. Should we lock up anyone with martial arts training just because of what they could potentially do? I guess kids who play soccer should be arrested because their kicks could accidentally injure someone. You drive a car Robert? Well, we should lock you up then because you could use that to kill or injure someone. Sorry, life isn’t fair and we need to make an example out of you.

  • Baltimore

    Its not a weapon unless used for a weapon . It was in his lacross bag and used to fix his stick sounds like a tool to me not a weapon. Stop trying to ruin good students lives.

    • AnthonyS

      You just brought up a REALLY good point, Baltimore.

      The 2 inch pen knife is a weapon, but the 3 foot LACROSSE STICK is not.

      I can hurt a whole heck of a lot more people with a 3 foot weighted metal mace than I can with a pocket knife.

      Complete idiocy!

  • they got what was coming

    Everyone knows the rules. You are not allow to have knifes or lighters on school property regardless of what it is being used for. It sounds like most of you are saying if you play a sport you do not have to follow the rules well think again

    • elizmardy

      These two boys will get what is coming to them for the rest of their lives. Any college application, job application, interest in joining the armed forces, background checks for jobs, security clearance check, the arrest will show up. No matter if they are or are not minors, the questions are based on truth and they cannot say they never have been arrested. Sealing records only set up red flags. They only have a few days to set the arrest aside but they are already in the system. The rest of their lives have been permanently changed because someone decided to be ridged authoritarians instead of mentors who could have encouraged these boys with a teachable moment. Confiscate the materials, call the parents, and act like roll models, and avoid the life crushing results we have witnessed. The government feigns compassion but is only interested compliance. This is too much government at its worst.

    • beegee17

      RFLMAO! So let’s ruin some kids life over something petty… Why not all the energy on the gang bangers in baltimore city? At least this kid is doing something with his extra time.

      The arrest only serves on purpose… to satisfy the loonie leftwing like yourself into believing we are all “safe” and we should thank you. Sorry! Not going to happen!

    • LLLBean

      Where are these rules written ?? Everyone knows the rules?? You were born with this? Is it on a blinking sign somewhere? The point is that it is not written in Talbot CO. Look it up. Search for it. Spend days doing it. Then repeat that these kids should have just known because EVERYBODY just knows. Where do you live?

  • cris

    nope these are the rules, shouldnt have had the knife in the bag, thats just the way things are. so they need to be suspended

    • lsbrew

      There is a big difference between rules and laws. The arrest, mug shots, and fingerprinting indicates that they somehow broke the law. I agree that they violated the rules and suspension may be in order. But how the the locals law enforcement get involved?

      • Jamie Phelps

        It’s illegal to have it on school property. So they did break the law. When it comes to schools they are a lot tougher and now a days they need to be. They broke the law and school rules, they know better and are getting punished for it.

    • pyeatte

      The opnly one needing suspension is the administrators.

  • sue

    My tax paying dollars is being wasted on all of this? This is just ridiculous. I understand that rules are rules but in the “grown up world” we also know that sometime rules can be overturned. These two young men now have permanent stains on their records and why for this? School administrators, stop taking on the easy pray and go after the real problems, bullies, guns and drugs.

  • whatnow

    They weren’t just suspended. The one was handcuffed and arrested. Do you not get it? What, are some of you still bitter because you didn’t make a sports team in high school. Do you really think having a 2 inch pen knife to fix a lacross stick is worth having a criminal record for the rest of his life????? Every one knows the no tolerance rules were put into effect because really bad kids bring real knives and guns to school were just getting slaps on the wrists. So in our PC world, the only way you can punish a really bad kid is to take down some good ones with them. Come on, I don’t care how jaded you are about your lousy high school experience, does that really make any sense at all!

    • Eric_H

      Its a good point. Why are the police enforcing school rules?
      (because as defined above – he didn’t have a ‘weapon’ – so he wasn’t breaking ‘the law’).

      This reminds me of the story of the student charged with ‘resisting arrest’ for running away from the school’s resource officer.

    • Eric Hultman

      The “really bad kids (who) bring real knives and guns to school” don’t care about and won’t follow the rules anyway.

  • RG

    As an Easton resident, I’m troubled that the cops are wasting time on these two lacrosse players when they should be worried about the illegal immigrant crime down on Port Stree that is ruining Easton’s nice ambience.

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