Devastating_ruling_for_honor_student_fou_2122760000_8942770_ver1.0_320_240A Detroit honor student has been suspended for carrying a pocketknife. However, the punishment doesn’t stop there. School officials at Annapolis High School located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan has decided to suspend the student for an entire school year.

Seventeen-year-old Atiya Haynes was caught with a pocketknife after school officials searched female students exiting the restroom. What led to the search? A security guard claimed to have detected marijuana, reported a local news station.

The high school honor student said she was not aware the pocketknife was in her school bag. It was given to her by her grandfather to carry for protection, while traveling back and forth through dangerous neighborhoods to her lifeguard job.

Haynes was suspended for a year, but school officials has allowed her to take online classes so she’ll be able to graduate with her class in 2015.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union will be representing Haynes.

The knife found in Atiya's purse.

The knife found in Atiya’s purse.

In efforts to have her suspension lifted, Haynes has penned a letter to her school district. Haynes wrote:

“I understand and acknowledge my irresponsibility in the situation; I should have educated myself on what was and wasn’t acceptable on school grounds. I had become so accustomed to feeling the need to protect myself that I became careless. Unfortunately it is easy to do so when I don’t have the luxury of living around the block from my school. In order to get to Annapolis, I have to pass through multiple cities, and when my car actually decides to work it still isn’t reliable transportation. In order to ensure security, from destination to destination, my family and I mutually agreed that certain forms of protection are necessary. This experience has definitely made me more cognizant. I truly hope that my sincerity is taken into account as well as my academic strides. I am devoted to learning and have pushed myself throughout my academic career, but above all, I am a teenager, with a juvenile mindset and the preeminence to make mistakes. The No-Tolerance Policy eliminates what it means to truly be a child, what it means to learn from your mishaps, and what it is to pick up the pieces because this policy throws those pieces into the wind. This is a classic case of ‘wrong place, wrong time,’ and I acknowledge that I have made a mistake by not making myself aware of certain conduct codes.”

However, in a statement to the Huffington Post, school district Superintendent Todd Thieken defended the decision. He noted the law states if a student is found with a dangerous weapon he/she should be expelled, but instead school officials opted for suspension.

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  • Brad

    Saw this on another site, I am glad she is moving onto Howard University after high school.

    I sincerely hope that they take all of the facts of her suspension into account and it doesn’t effect her being accepted.

  • Anthony

    If she can’t get back into regular school, she should focus on her online classes, and getting into college. I came up in a different time and a different part of the country. I have always carried a pocketknife since I was around first grade, but I knew they weren’t allowed in school, and did not take them there. The knife her grandfather gave her looks like a knockoff of a Benchmade Axis lock design, and it is not the kind of knife that will can be explained away as a utility tool to a school board. She is lucky that she was not arrested, because, unless the law has changed, one can be prosecuted in Michigan with a felony for carrying a knife with a blade over 3″, and that knife looks like it might have a 3.25-3.5″ blade. Granddad, should have bought her a very stout umbrella that she should could have been used knock a threat over the head. Even a steel tooth hair pick or a rat tail comb could have worked in a pinch for self defense while not being seen as a weapon.

  • 1989

    The private prison system salivates every time a child is suspended or expelled when the situation should have been handled w/in the school. It just means one more warm body for them to potentially profit from. They don’t consider these children capable of achieving and they have no issue taking their futures away.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Put the baby in private school, do not fail your child.

    • Anthony

      Maybe folks can take up a collection and help the family if they cannot afford it.