Pennsylvania teen suspended after reporting knife he accidentally brought to school

An eighth grade student at a Pennsylvania school was suspended for three days after reporting to the principal he accidentally brought a pocket knife to school Monday, according to a local report.

Thomas Ross Jr., 13, told WTAE he put the knife in his pocket after helping his father open a cardboard box Sunday night. When he put the same pair of shorts on for school Monday, Ross said he forgot the knife was there, accidentally bringing it with him to Brownsville Area Middle School.

When he realized he was still carrying the knife, he went to the principal’s office to open up about his mistake.

“I was scared that if I were to get caught with it on me, it would have been worse than me turning it in,” Ross Jr. said.

Ross’s father, Thomas Ross Sr., said the school called him saying his son had been issued a citation and would be suspended for three days.

“Why is there zero tolerance on a child bringing a weapon by accident to school and then doing the right thing and turning it in?” Ross Sr. said, adding that his son had never been in trouble at school, or issued a citation or suspension before.

Brownsville Area School District superintendent Keith Hartbauer told WTAE that the district mandates a three-day suspension any time a student brings a weapon to campus.

"The safety and well-being of our students and staff is paramount," Hartbauer said. "We will follow our district's policy, procedures, and solicitor's recommendation regarding this discipline incident."

An informal hearing is scheduled for Thursday with school administrators, where Ross Sr. said a longer 10-day suspension could be considered.