An athletic and academic standout in Lee County said a lunchbox mix-up has cut short her senior year of high school and might hurt her college opportunities.
Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended from Southern Lee High School in October after school personnel found a small paring knife in her lunchbox.
According to Ashley and her father, the two have matching lunchboxes and Ashley took her father’s to school by mistake. Her father uses a small paring knife to cut up his apple at lunch. Now Ashley has been kicked out of school, charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, and is having to complete her high school coursework online.
This sort of “no tolerance” mindset is a complete abdication of the need to make responsible, reasonable decisions based on circumstances. The School principal and superintendent here should be fired immediately, and this girl should sue the state school system.