Student arrested for having pen knife used to fix lacrosse stick

Two high school lacrosse players at a Easton, Md. high school were suspended – and one was arrested and taken to jail – for having a lighter and a pen knife they used to maintain their lacrosse sticks. Maybe the high school should hire a new employee authorized exclusively to use tools to maintain sports equipment. Created or saved baby!

Arrested? Taken to jail? Photographed? Finger printed? Come on

Laura Dennis’ son Graham had a pen knife and a Leatherman that school authorities found while they searched a team bus before it headed to a game. He now faces jail time and damage to his permanent record.

“A police officer came and took him away in handcuffs and they said ‘Give us 40 minutes, we have to process him,’ Laura Dennis said. “So they did mug shots and they fingerprinted. I was able to pick him up from the police department 45 minutes later.”

Doug Edsall’s son Casey had a lighter he also used to fix his lacrosse stick.  The school classified it as an explosive device.

Zero tolerance policies simply go way too far.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. TomL on May 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

    my goodness

  2. GdavidH on May 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

    How do I teach my children to be respectful and trusting?of those in authority when those in authority are not worthy of trust or respect?

  3. RoBrDona on May 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    As a USLacrosse certified coach, I can tell you that you have to have a leatherman and a lighter to fix the sticks (which need constant attention) and burn the fraying nylon ends of the various strings. I am never without them.? Having said that, most kids know (through their parents, hopefully) to leave them home in this insane nanny-state world. ?

  4. Tim-in-Alabama on May 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t think I’d last too long in high school today. I grew up in a time and place where it was modus operandi for boys to carry pocket knives, often ones passed down from fathers and grand fathers. It wasn’t unusual to see a gun rack (with a gun) in the back of a pickup truck in the school parking lot. We played dodge ball with what, for the era, was an acceptable mortality rate. We hit and thumped each other with our fists, fingers and an all manner of writing, bundling and measuring instruments. We teased and heckled … but, when we crossed boundaries that everyone seemed to understand, we got paddled! We didn’t go to jail! We were beaten with a piece of lumber by our teachers or the assistant principal. Zero Tolerance (aka Zero Common Sense) discipline policies are loved by some administrators today because they free them the strenuous effort needed to exercise judgment … and their paddling stroke. For this insanity, I blame Obama personally and any poster here with a number after his or her name.

    • Tim-in-Alabama on May 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      I should have been more clear and written, “for the current insanity.” I had a normal childhood.

    • GdavidH on May 12, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Tim, we might be long lost brothers from different mothers.

      I had a middle school teacher push me up a wall in the hallway?with his hand on my neck? because he was sick of my classroom distractions. When I told my dad he wrote a note to the teacher thanking him.

      I tell that story to my kids as often as possible.

  5. Gary J on May 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Has been said before and applies here “you can’t make this stuff up”

  6. TomL on May 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    They arrest kids and give them a criminal record that follows them for the rest of their lives for stupid stuff. If that happened when I was young I’d still be doing time, I took my punishment handed out by the cop who caught me and learned my lessons. Just as long as they didn’t tell my father I was happy. Of course that was when the cops had discretion.

  7. Dottie on May 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Zero Tolerance at its best….Where did Common Sense go????

  8. phil on May 12, 2011 at 8:44 am

    My son’s liberal girlfriend was explaining why we had to be tolerant of scimitar wielding Jihadists, but didn’t address why we could have NO tolerance for a plastic butter knife in the hands of an 18 year-old high school student, old enough to vote and to die for his/her country.? I’m probably just an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy.


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