DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich — A Michigan honors student who accidentally left a pocketknife her grandfather gave her in her purse during a school football game was suspended from school for the rest of the year for violating district policy, MyFOXdetroit reports.
Senior Atiya Haynes will be allowed to take online classes, MyFOXdetroit reports, and will be allowed to graduate with her class in 2015. But the honor student will not be allowed on school grounds; a huge blow for a student who hopes to rack up extracurricular activities for applying to college.
According to MyFOXdetroit, school officials discovered the knife as she was exiting a bathroom at a football game and they searched her purse. Haynes claimed she was given the knife from her grandfather and forgot it was in her possession.
But the school district, which has a zero tolerance statute when it comes to weapons, decided differently. She was expelled from school initially, and following her plea to the school board, was mandated to stay away from school and only take online classes.
A crying Haynes issued an emotional plea following the school board’s decision.
“Put your child in this situation,” Haynes told MyFOXDetroit. “Every time you forget your keys to your house, think of me. Think of this honest mistake. I’m a human being. I’m 17 years old. It’s disgusting that you can sleep at night knowing that you can potentially ruin somebody’s life.”
“I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time, as a school board, we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan,” District 7 Superintendent Tim Thieken told MyFOXDetroit.
Haynes family said the 17-year-old is considering transferring to a private school.