Saturday, February 6, 2010

Columbia County Schools: Zero Tolerance or Zero Common Sense?

Martha Hall hardly ever carries a purse to school.

But the junior at Grovetown High School was cold last Tuesday, so she put her gloves on and grabbed an old purse to carry them in. The 18 year old girl was so unaccustomed to using the purse, she mistakenly left it in the cafeteria. When a school official found the abandoned purse, they opened it up to search for identification.

Inside, they found a small ice scraper. It had a small razor on it.

Martha was immediately reported to the sheriff's office and suspended indefinitely. Officers also searched her locker and car.

"They were like, 'It's policy.' I'll probably end up in alternative school," Martha told The Jail Report. "It's definitely a mistake, but the action taken is over-reacting."

Luckily, the sheriff's office saw it for what it was -- a mistake -- and didn't charge her. A sheriff's report states, "Investigation found Ms. Hall had no criminal intent on using the scraper's razor."

The Columbia County school system saw it as a by-the-book violation of their weapons policy.

Martha says she's had the scraper in her old purse since August, when she used it to scrape glue off her windshield. She was replacing a rear-view window in her car and there was glue left on the windshield from the old one. She left it in the purse that she rarely uses. The scraper was only about an inch and a half long, she said.

The Grovetown teen explained that to school officials. They didn't care. She was escorted off school property soon after the discovery.

Martha makes As and Bs in school. She is determined to finish school despite this incident, and will have to wait for a notice about her hearing date.

But the whole incident has left Martha a bit shaken by the system.

"It's extreme over-reacting. I didn't threaten anyone with it," Martha said. "I didn't even know I had it!"

What do you think? Was the school system correct in taking the action they did?


  1. This is absolutely RIDICULOUS!If I were this girls parents I would contact legal representaion immdiately.

  2. Sue the school district. Idiots. Gotta recruit conservative staff.

  3. Earlier that day or the day before, another student had a box cutter blade in his shoe. Found it in his second period class. He immediately requested to see the Principal and turned the blade over to him. The student still has to go to a hearing.

  4. If she brought it by accident, ok that sucks. but what if someone got their hands on it, and something bad could of happen in result of that. Just like someone that DUI, they don't mean to cause a wreck or kill someone, but it can be the outcome. Just like having a weapon on school grounds, and can create a issue that wouldn't originate if she didn't have it. Let her be an example, it don't matter what grade average you have, weapons on school grounds will not be tolerated. Accident or not, its just like driving someone else car, your supposed to check for insurance and registration before you get pulled over by the police and say you didn't know the car wasn't covered. She should of checked her purse, and this would of never happened. A simple accident that will cost her, but its policy and a big issue right now will school violence.

  5. I remember a richmond county High School, that wouldnt even let me wear a shirt that had a water gun on it for real...I had to remove the shirt...So its not just her school systems that "over react"

  6. It's nothing like driving drunk. A drunk driver has too much to drink and intentionally gets behind the wheel of a vehicle that could (and many times does) kill someone. Forgetting you have a window scraper in your purse is nothing of the sort. Your use of simile is extremely exaggerated.
    And please, before you comment, learn the English language. "...and create a issue... (create an issue)" " don't matter...(it doesn't matter)" "she should of... (she should've)". "...this would of never happened... (the word is 'would've').
    Zero Tolerance is a lazy administration's way of blanketing everything rather than taking the time to look at individual cases.
    We wonder why we're falling behind to third-world countries in education. It's because of who we have in charge. They allow incompetent teachers to remain in place while refusing to pay the good ones what they're worth.
    Remember, cream isn't the only thing that rises to the top. Poo floats, too!

  7. I think the school system did exactly like they were suppose to. It really sucks for this young girl, but check your things before leaving out the door in the morning, or simply keep up with it. I agree with the other comment regarding if someone else had gotten hold of this thing and seriously injured someone, then what?

  8. and whose to say this was an accident? and she didn't really know it was in her purse...i mean really every man in jail is innocent...

  9. Some of these post are way over the top! The posters sound like a bunch of Barney Fife's! Sometimes a little common sense will go a long way! I mean really a tiny little window scrapper! Come on!

  10. every situation has its details, if they took some time to look at the details, they could observe that she doesn't exhibit the malicious and violent personality that a more criminal mind may possess. i understand that they are trying to make a point, and eliminate all possibilities of violent acts in schools, but to do so in such a harsh manner when it's highly likely that she had no such intent is unreasonable. i feel it should be treated as the most minor of offenses and she should be let off with a warning. if she has a repeat offense, then they should question her pursuits and appropriate more serious consequences.