You can sue for anything. The question is whether you will win or not. Replica knives can hurt or kill if enough force is used. I'm sure under your school district's 'zero tolerance" policy, the mere bringing of a knife metal replica or real is sufficient to support a suspension. Depending on the length of the suspension, it may not b worth challenging, although you may want to make sure that the basis "is brought replica knife to school" rather than "threatened child's life". Either way, you'll need an education attorney. You can check Avvo or call your local bar association.
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com
Schools are very rigid at the moment in enforcing the zero tolerance weapons policy. Post-Sandy Hook, this position was foreseeable and inevitable, and it is likely to be the case for some time to come. We are seeing 6-year olds sent home for going "bang" with their index fingers.
The point is, however, that zero tolerance means just that. Weapons -- real ones, pretend ones, replicas, substitutes, modifieds, etc. -- need to stay home, ALL of them. There is not a school in the country that is willing to stand down on this issue right now. So, yes, you can hire a lawyer and throw a bunch of money at this. Very likely you will not succeed in anything worthwhile. Schools are allowed under the law to act on the basis of hearsay if the info has other indicia of reliable -- and yours does because the offense is possession at school, not inflicting injury on a specific victim. Your better course, IMHO, is to hire a master diplomat and walk your kid out of this with the smallest and least permanent-record discipline that the school can be persuaded to accept. I would start with a weekend of trash picking-up on school grounds and a sincere open letter of apology, and work up in very small increments from there.
And leave the weapons and almost-weapons home all the time from now on, no exceptions, no excuses.
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