Facts Matter. Student With Knife Wasn’t A Threat. Did ”Zero Tolerance” Go Too Far?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) (9:59 am) — BocaNewsNow.com has learned that one of the websites that attempts to copy us without any journalistic background or ethics is preparing to slam the Palm Beach County school district — and a scared student — for bringing a closed pocket knife to school. The copycat website, with no factual basis or investigatory work, is apparently going to suggest that the school district erred in letting the student return to school after a brief suspension.
BocaNewsNow.com, however, learned that there is much more to the story.
The incident, at West Boca High, led to the arrest of Desir Dumerjuste. BocaNewsNow.com confirmed that Dumerjuste was arrested several days ago following the October incident — and only arrested due to the school district’s “zero tolerance” policy.
According to those close to the situation at the school, Dumerjuste is a kid who “everyone loves,” “is never threatening,” and “doesn’t always understand what’s going on.” He apparently didn’t understand that bringing a closed pocket knife, even for the most innocent of reasons, is still a problem. Instead of being disciplined or aided in school, the Palm Beach County School District Police department was called and started an investigation. Under the Palm Beach County School District’s policy, there was no wiggle room. Deumerjuste was eventually arrested.
The pocket knife was seen by other students at play practice who saw something and said something. They appropriately told a teacher. The apparent problem, according to those close to the situation at the school, is that it escalated into something inappropriate for the situation. Instead of it becoming a teachable moment for a student who needed assistance, it became a potentially life-altering event for Dumerjuste who is now facing two criminal charges.
Dumerjuste was suspended for several days and then permitted to return. The criminal proceeding continues.
It is unclear if the Palm Beach County School District will ultimately signal to prosecutors that charges should be dropped.
For now, the school district is only issuing this statement: “Due to confidentiality guidelines, the District is not at liberty to discuss investigative matters involving students. Speaking broadly, however, any student who is accused of an infraction is disciplined as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.”
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