2nd-grader goes back to school

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:14 PM

The boy’s parents met with West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics officials on Tuesday afternoon, and they agreed to allow the second-grader to return to the Ferrysburg school, the boy's father said.

Academy Director Travis Thomsen would not comment on the reason for ending the suspension early.

“We’re just glad that he’s back in school,” said the boy’s father, whom the Tribune is not naming in order to protect the identity of the child.

The boy was given an eight-day suspension after being found with a Cabela’s multi-tool knife on the school playground on Feb. 12, according to the father. The tool includes a blade less than 2 inches long.

The boy was originally suspended from school until Feb. 25.

The child was suspended in accordance with school board and student handbook policies, Thomsen said. That was despite the fact that the tool did not qualify as a dangerous weapon, according to state regulations.

Thomsen said student safety was the primary factor in sending the child home, although he was not threatening anyone with the device.

The child had been learning how to use the multi-tool safely the night before at home, so he could qualify to use it in Cub Scouts, his father said. The boy forgot that it was in his coat pocket when he went to school the next day.

Thomsen was also asked if there would be a review of school policies in light of this incident. He said: “The (academy's) Board of Directors receive fall and spring updates through the National Charter School Institute and review policies routinely.”

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