POLITICS
03/29/2013 02:46 pm ET | Updated Mar 24, 2014

Student Suspended For Butter Knife She Brought To Middle School In Packed Lunch

A Massachusetts middle school student was suspended after she brought a butter knife to school in her lunch, Fox 25 Boston reports.

According to the 13-year-old's mother, Morgan LaPlume was taken to the office and handed a one-day suspension after Wamsutta Middle School's assistant principal spotted the butter knife, the Sun Chronicle reports.

LaPlume packed the butter knife with her lunch in order to cut a pear, explaining to Fox 25 that she can't bite into the fruit because of her braces.

State Rep. Paul Heroux (D-Attleboro) criticized the school's action, telling Attleboro Patch that this "could have been a teachable moment."

"When a school administrator doesn't feel that he or she can exercise discretion and common sense in their job when working with children who don't always appreciate the concern of a butter knife in schools, the consequence may be that children learn to be more afraid of the law than to respect the law," Heroux wrote to the local blog.

The one-day suspension may seem like the latest in a series of schools taking a zero-tolerance stance on threats to safety following the Dec. 14 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.; however, Wamsutta Middle School's principal insisted that LaPlume's suspension is consistent with school district policy.

Though the Attleboro Public Schools' student handbook states that students found in possession of a dangerous weapon may be expelled, the rules do not specify whether a butter knife falls into that category.

Students who have brought butter knives to school in past years, prior to the Sandy Hook, received similar punishments. In one such case, a South Carolina high school went so far as to expel a freshman who brought the knife to school after she accidentally locked herself out of her house.

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