UPDATE: Penalty reduced for NEHS senior suspended for knife

The knife found in David Duren-Sanner's vehicle on school grounds. /Courtesy of CMCSS

ClarksvilleNow.com Reporting

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The penalty has been reduced for the Northeast High student who unknowingly had a fishing knife on school property.

The original penalty of suspension plus 90 days at an alternative school has been reduced to 30 days following an appeal hearing Wednesday for 18-year-old David Duren-Sanner.

The honors student said he didn’t know the knife was in the vehicle, because it belonged to his father who is a commercial fisherman in Alaska.

According to Elise Shelton, spokeswoman for CMCSS, an officer conducted a plain view search of David’s vehicle during a random and routine search of vehicles in the school parking lot. The officer could see a knife wedged between the seat and the console.

In a statement written by David, he wrote that the car “formerly belonged to my father…who gave it to me after he bought a truck.”

“It was recommended that the student be suspended 10 days and remanded to the Alternative School for 90 days,” Shelton said. “All students may appeal disciplinary recommendations and those students have the right to due process where testimony and evidence are given. And whenever a senior has some type of disciplinary action, we always work with our seniors to help them graduate.”

Shelton said possession of a knife is not a Zero Tolerance offense according to state law.

An online petition petition had 17,311 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

David was was also featured in a news segment on Fox’s My World News.

Read the full Student Code of Conduct here, which includes specific information about automobile searches, dangerous weapons on school property, and zero tolerance policy. The Code is reviewed with students at the beginning of the school year or when they register. Parents/guardians must read the Code and sign that they have read it.