A Kat Production
You are the vice principal in charge of 8th graders at Harry S Truman Middle School. Your school district has a broad policy that prohibits students from bringing weapons to school, as well as items that “can reasonably construed as weapons.”
The school does not exercise a zero tolerance policy, which gives you, as an administrator, some leeway in considering context and circumstances. For instance, you declined to take action against a student who brought a flatware knife to school to spread peanut butter on crackers at lunch.
Today you have 14-year-old Corbin in your office. Corbin brought his switchblade comb to school. The comb looks very much like a switchblade and operates like one, though, of course, it has no blade. The teacher who brought Corbin to the office tells you that she saw Corbin brandishing the comb at another student and threatening to cut him. She took the matter very seriously until Corbin demonstrated the knife was, in fact, a comb.
After interviewing Corbin, you learn these facts: 1) he was not reacting to bullying from the other student; 2) he tells you the other student “pissed [him] off by sitting in the seat where [he] always sit[s] in the cafeteria; 3) he meant the threat as a joke and didn’t expect the other kid (or a teacher) to take it seriously.
You have the discretion to handle this matter as you see fit. You are allowed to use corporal punishment (paddle, up to six swats); suspension (up to ten days); in-school suspension (up to six weeks); after school detention; assignment to an alternative campus (up to 12 weeks); expulsion (with student suspended pending an automatic hearing before the school board).