Two suspended for bringing knives to school

March 14, 1998


Staff Writer

BOONSBORO - Two Boonsboro Middle School students were suspended for three days this week for allegedly bringing knives to school, officials said.

The two incidents bring the total number of weapons confiscated in Washington County schools this year to 29, said Joe Millward, Supervisor of Pupil Personnel at the Washington County Board of Education.

The two knives were found March 6, said Principal Janice Gearhart.

A three-inch kitchen knife, was found while school officials were looking into the theft of $100 and six compact discs from a student's locker, Gearhart said.


A student told school officials that one of the people involved in the theft had a knife, Gearhart said.

Gearhart approached the 14-year-old boy, who told the principal the knife was in front of the school in some bushes.

Later that day, a student told a teacher about another pupil who had a knife, the principal said. Gearhart searched a student locker and found a three-inch pocketknife.

School officials said they have no reason to believe the two incidents were related.

The boy involved in the first incident said his knife was given to him by a friend. The second boy told school officials he brought a knife to school because he "felt afraid," Gearhart said.

The two boys were suspended Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week and allowed to return to school Thursday, Gearhart and Millward said.

One of the boys was suspended earlier in the year for fighting, Gearhart said.

A discipline plan that requires closer supervision was set up for the boys, Millward said.

The 27 other weapons confiscated this year were mostly pocketknives, Millward said. Although none of them were firearms, four were items like BB guns and starter pistols, said Millward, who added that students usually bring the weapons to school to show off.

For a school system with 20,000 students, 29 weapon confiscations is not bad, Millward said.

Many students in rural schools carry knives, an innocent practice that has been going on for decades, Millward said.

"Washington County has one of the safest school systems I know. We don't have daily violence," Millward said.

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