Straight-A Student Expelled Over Pocket Knife in Backpack a Month from Graduation

Only a month from graduation, a school board’s zero tolerance knife policy has resulted in an honor student’s expulsion.

Shawn Soucy, a 16-year-old student at Heritage Regional High School in Montreal, Canada, was expelled after a pocket knife was discovered in his backpack. The teenager forgot to leave the knife at home after using it while renovating a barn on his family farm. The teenager says he bought the Buck 110 at Canadian Tire, a popular Canadian mass merchandiser.

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The Riverside School Board’s policy called for expulsion. Despite a public outcry on social media and support from faculty and fellow students, the Board is sticking to their guns. According to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, principals, teachers, even the former chairman of the Riverside School Board are questioning the harsh stance.

Soucy’s most outspoken advocate is his mother, Treasa Kenny. The high school’s student population comes from both urban and rural families. Kenny points out that a knife is simply a part of life on a farm. “A knife for us is like a cell phone for others. Dumb mistake to leave it [in] the bag for sure but a suspension would have been sufficient.”

Shawn Soucy is working with a tutor twice a week to prepare for his final Education Ministry exams and is barred from interacting with his friends on school property for his last month of high school.

Knife featured in image: Buck 110 Folding Hunter