TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) At the beginning of October KMVT brought you the story of an 8th grader at South Hills Middle School being suspended for having a weapon at school.
The Twin Falls School District has a strict zero tolerance, no-weapons policy.
Joseph McDrummond found the pocket knife in his backpack during PE and turned it into his teacher. He was then sent to the office and suspended. The school has rules and procedures they needed to follow that coincide with Idaho laws.
Joseph initially was going to be suspended from the beginning of October until October 23, 2017 which was when an expulsion hearing was scheduled.
"A lot of people were really kind of in awe that the school was going to go that far over an accident," Stacy McDrummond, Joseph’s father said.
The McDrummond family pressured the school to move up the hearing so Joseph wouldn’t fall behind in school. The school allowed Joseph to return to school even before the hearing but under strict circumstances, that he would be checked for weapons every morning.
The conversations following the initial story were mixed between outrage over how the situation was handled and gratitude toward the school district for the no-weapons policy.
"We discovered that there were a lot of questions in the community. That not a lot of people understood the policy or understood what a weapon is defined as, or even that that conversation needed to be had," Public Relations Officer for the Twin Falls School District Eva Craner said.
When the expulsion hearing with the McDrummond family, principal, superintendent and school board resulted in Joseph being able to remain in school with his suspension being the time he already served.
"The school was really good to work with. I see they have rules they have to follow. On my end of it, it seems like those rules should be able to bend and give a little for each instance," Stacy McDrummond said.
"The feedback that we've heard is that it was a needed story to be out there. It was needed for parents know that this is the policy and that they needed to talk with their students," Eva Craner said.
Although things worked themselves out in the end, Stacy McDrummond sympathizes with his son for having to go through any suspension, condones him for doing the right thing and turning the knife into an administrator but questions if the school will change protocol in the
future, so that way no student’s education is jeopardized.
"Chances are this is going to happen again to someone else. And something has to, something has got to be there to keep a kid from being in trouble, for doing something right," Stacy McDrummond said.