Annapolis student suspended for having knife at school event

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — An Annapolis High School senior was suspended for the remainder of the school year after a pocket knife was found in her purse at a school function.

Atiya Haynes, 17, was at Annapolis’ homecoming football game Sept. 27 when an administrator found the knife.

The administrator was searching the bags of Haynes and her friends after they left a restroom, looking for evidence of marijuana, but instead found the knife, Haynes said in a letter to the District 7 School Board. The administrator then contacted AHS Principal Daniel Scott.

“After notifying the police and being told by the officer that it wasn’t illegal, but should not have been on school grounds, Ms. Howard pressed the situation and called Mr. Scott,” Haynes wrote in the letter. “At that time, Ms. Howard notified me that Mr. Scott ordered me to leave the premises. I was immediately kicked out of the game with no time to explain myself.”

Michigan has zero-tolerance regarding weapons in schools or on school property.

Haynes was immediately suspended from school and faced possible explosion.

After meeting in closed session for more than an hour, the D7 school board voted 6-0 to suspend Haynes instead of expelling her. Trustee Virginia Morgan was absent from the meeting.

Haynes said her grandfather gave her the pocket knife during the summer. It served as protection on her bike rides to work from her southwest Detroit neighborhood to Dearborn.

She said she forgot about the knife because she has had it in her purse since summertime.

“I did not have bad intentions; I’m a dedicated student, in advanced placement courses, dual-enrolled, I work two jobs and have aspirations beyond oratory expression,” she wrote in the letter.

An honor student as well as an athlete, Haynes has plans to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., to major in broadcast journalism.

Haynes can still graduate with by enrolling in the Dearborn Heights Virtual Academy online school to finish her classes.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)