A Mansfield Elementary student was suspended Tuesday for bringing a collector’s knife on a private bus and into school that morning, school officials said.
The fifth grade student will remain suspended according to the district’s handbook until a disciplinary hearing can be held, said Sherri Davis-Viniard, public relations director for Newton County schools.
A student riding on a day care bus, operated by KC’s 24-Hour Child Care, with the fifth grader learned of the knife on the ride from the child care center to Mansfield Tuesday morning, said Susan DuBose, director of KC’s.
The bus driver overheard the fifth grader and another student talk about the knife. But the student refused to turn the knife over, or admit he had one, when the driver confronted him, DuBose said.
“She came back to center here and informed me there was a possibility he had knife on the bus,” DuBose said of the bus driver. “I immediately contacted the child’s parents and let them know we were contacting the school. As I was talking to the parent, we heard from the school that they had already located knife and had took actions against child.”
DuBose said the driver did not hear or witness any threats on the bus, and had been talking with the students involved for much of the time.
Davis-Viniard and Mansfield Principal G. W. Davis said that no students were ever threatened with the knife.
“At no time was any child on the Mansfield campus threatened,” Davis said. “There was no intent from anyone to threaten children or use the knife.”
Davis said a student brought in a collector’s knife to show other students on his own, not for any school-related function. “It had a sheep on it and it was a Dale Earnhardt knife,” he said. “He was showing somebody something he thought it was neat. It never came out of his backpack until I took it out.”
After he received the report, Davis said he met with the student, confiscated the knife and suspended the student pending a hearing.
“We don’t even allow plastic knives,” Davis said. “We have zero tolerance for that kind of stuff. He just made a poor choice.”
DuBose said the owner of KC’s, Kathy Cain, did not suspend the boy from the child care center because she felt there was no threat.
“I wrote the child up for having the knife on the bus,” DuBose said. “The child did not come to day care next day. But he did come back the day after. The reason we didn’t suspend him is Ms. Cain said there was not a threat. The child never showed the knife. The driver never saw the knife.”