A Clarksville high school student's suspension has been reduced after a knife was found in his dad's truck parked on school property.
David Duren-Sanner, an 18-year-old senior at Northeast High School, was initially suspended last week after a random search turned up a large fishing knife between the front seat and the console.
Duren-Sanner, an honor roll student, told News 2 he drove his dad's truck to school and didn't even know the knife was there.
The college hopeful was suspended on the spot and was initially remanded to 90 days of alternative schooling.
"I didn't think I deserved it. It wasn't my fault," Duren-Sanner said.
The knife was in its case and accidentally left there after a fishing trip a few months ago, according to Duren-Sanner's father, a commercial fisherman who often travels to Alaska.
"It's an eye-opener for us. We're just simple people. I hunt. I fish. I commercial hunt for a living, so we have guns and knives. It was just a simple mistake," father Greg Sanner said.
Duren-Sanner and his family appealed his suspension before Director of Student Services Mary Davila Wednesday. His father told Davila leaving the knife behind was an "honest mistake."
"I just want it to be over. I want to go back to school and be with my friends and have it all be forgotten," he told News 2.
Around 3:30 p.m., school officials decided Duren-Sanner must complete 30 days at an alternative school for the incident. He will be able to attend prom and walk across the stage at his graduation in the spring.
"There's just a lot of emotions going on. We're relieved, but at the same time we are not relieved or satisfied. This is still not justified and I am still guilty. It's just not fair," Duren-Sanner said.
Because he is 18, Duren-Sanner also faces a weapons charge for possessing the knife on school property. That charge will stand and the incident will remain on his school record.
"It's still against school board policy and state law to have a knife over three inches and this one was five inches long. Regardless of whether you know it or not, it's in the code of conduct that you're required to know what's in your car," school spokesperson Elise Shelton said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the charge until the matter with the school district is resolved.
Duren-Sanner has a court appearance scheduled for next month.
Since his suspension, an online petition asking for Duren-Sanner's suspension to be thrown out has gained more than 19,000 signatures from around the world as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
"I think a lot of people are upset and are with me on this," Duren-Sanner said.
The family is unsure if they will appeal Wednesday's decision to the director of schools.
His grandmother added he will not be driving anyone else's vehicle and that she will be taking and picking up Duren-Sanner from school.
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