Lacrosse players, generally, carry a lighter or pocket knife daily. We use it for stick maintenance. I’ve never thought once about a player using the tools for harm or even thought of them being weapons. A school board in Eastern Maryland thinks differently. Two Easton High School lacrosse players were suspended recently when their LACROSSE bags were searched on the way to a game.
Varsity athlete Graham Dennis never thought of the pen knife he carried in his bag to repair his lacrosse stick’s strings as a dangerous weapon. It was a tool of the sport, he believed, until Easton High School officials found the item in a search of bags on a school bus headed for a game.
Dennis and teammate Casey Edsall, who had a lighter that he also used to repair equipment, were sent to the principal’s office and the police were called. Dennis was hauled off in handcuffs to be fingerprinted and charged as a juvenile with possession of a deadly weapon.
The school system’s handling of the punishment has enraged the 17-year-old boys’ parents and drawn criticism from some area residents who say the case is an example of Talbot County’s zero-tolerance policies gone amok. The incident comes just as members of the state board of education are raising concerns about whether some school system policies around Maryland are too harsh and deny students the right to an education.
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