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Why My Kid Bringing A Knife To School Wasn’t The Worst Thing In The World

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Q: What has your child done that is technically “wrong” but you were proud of them for doing it?

I was called into the office to talk to the principal because my son brought a weapon to school — a large steak knife. Fortunately, he was in first grade, so mandatory suspension did not apply. No punishment was received.

son bringing a knife to school

My son went to his backpack during school to get his homework and he noticed the knife in his backpack. He had no idea how it got there. He had no idea what to do about it, but he knew it could be trouble. The only adult nearby was Ms. Francine, the school’s janitor. He called her over, and opened his backpack to show her the knife. He explained to her that he didn’t know how it got there, but he thought it might be a problem. She thanked him. Said he was a good boy who was very smart. She took the knife and brought it to the principal. The principal called me in, and we had the following discussion … With my son in the room.

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Principal: Explains the story about him calling over the janitor and showing her the knife.

Me: So, technically, he had a weapon in school … However, since he is not in 2nd grade yet, the required suspension does not apply. A, did you know you had the knife?

Son: No.

Principal: Did you show anyone the knife?

Son: Yes, Ms. Francine.

Principal: Did you show any kids, or anyone else?

Son: No.

Principal: Ok, I will need to do some investigating to make sure he didn’t show anyone. Good thing he’s in first grade. Punishment is at my discretion. If he were in second grade, I would suspend him for 3 days.

Me: It seems like an accident to me, can you imagine him doing anything better in this situation?

Principal: No, but I’d still give him 3 days.

Me (to my son): If this happens next year, I’ll take you to Disneyland.

ALSO: How to Talk to a Kid About Failure

No, My son didn’t bring a knife the next year. But I did get even with the principal. a few weeks later, on April 1, I sent him an Email, “I would like the return of my knife. Please give it to my son to take home.”

The next email said, “April Fools.”

Daniel Presburger is a father. Read more from Quora below: