Brickbat: And Don't Bring a Football to a Knife Fight


When David Schaffner III, 16, discovered he'd accidentally brought a pocketknife with him to a high school football game, he immediately sought out a security guard and turned it over. His principal didn't appreciate Schaffner's honesty. The principal not only kicked the boy out of the game, he suspended Schaffner for 10 days from Pennsylvania's Fox Chapel High School.

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  1. That is good of the principal to teach such a good life lesson, early.

    The “authorities” are NOT YOUR FRIENDS AND NOT HERE TO HELP.

    1. Fox Chapel is a wealthy area of Pittsburgh. The residents there likely have no concept of the cop-as-antagonist reality most people face, so it’s not surprising a young person there would ilmediately seek out a cop for help in such a situation. What’s mildly surprising is that cop in that area would bust a guy with “III” on the end of his name there. That usually spells trouble for the po-po. Guaranteed someone in that family is a lawyer or at least cozy with a few.

      1. Sometimes when blood rushes from one’s brain to his authority boner he can’t think past the sweet climax that comes from pushing a civilian around.

        1. On second thought, in this case, it was a security guard who simply reported the interaction with school officials. It was the school that took action.

          But db’s point still stands. Fox Chapel school administration just like police should be well aware of the litigious nature of its students’ families.

          1. School administrators get authority boners too.

            For all the talk about bullying in schools, don’t ever forget that the biggest bully of them all is the state.

      2. it might be due to the area he’s in – but I’ve known lot’s of poor rednecks with a III at the end of their name.

        Patriarchy FTW!

        1. Picking a name out of a book requires literacy. Why bother when I already know my own name?

        2. And then there’s the various George Foremans.

  2. When I was in high school, I don’t think there was a boy that didn’t have a pocket knife. Or some sort of ninja weapon…

    That was only 25 years ago. What has happened to this country?

    1. In high school I was almost never without a pocket knife and a cigarette lighter (even though I never smoke). These days thatis enough for suspension? My friends and I would never have made it through today’s high schools. And we were “the good kids” with high grades and mostly spotless “permanent records.”

      1. In high school I was almost never without a pocket knife

        In my work I go daily into other (typically elderly) people’s homes. Installing new electronics, I open packaging all day. A sharp pocket knife goes a long way toward taming today’s superplastics. In trying to make sure not to alarm folks, I have downsized my worktime EDC knife to a Dragonfly. Even with the 2″ blade I get comments on my “weapon,” but it’s not usually the older folks. It’s the younger ones.

        1. “If my ‘weapon’ scares you, you could always learn how to install your own router, moron.”

          1. I usually just laugh like “you’re kidding and I get it” and remark that I’m an old country boy and if doesn’t go BLAMMO and make a big hole, I don’t consider it a weapon. Then I change the subject.

        2. A Dragonfly is worse than a Swiss Army knife because it looks scarier. At least yours doesn’t have a black handle.

          1. At least yours doesn’t have a black, assault handle.

            1. I’ve mostly avoided knives with black handles, outside the kitchen anyway.
              My favorite pocket knife is a Spyderco Stretch with a handle that’s sort of a Williamsburg blue. When I’m dressed up I carry a more gentlemanly-looking Lum folder with green handles.

        3. Ooh – I like. My husband just got a promotion and that will be a nice gift. Just bought him one off Amazon with the orange ‘assault’ handle. Thanks for the idea.

          1. I hope he likes his as much as I do. I’m used to a bigger Spyderco knife, so it felt a bit awkward at first.

    2. The people who claim to care about the children are actively working to infantilize multiple generations of children.

    3. What choice did they have, after the Schoolhouse Knife Wars of the 90’s? When gangs of pocketknife armed teens roamed the halls, inflicting vicious superficial cuts, and the rubber floors ran red with the blood of the innocent? That was a lot of extra work for the custodial maintenance engineers, you know.

  3. Same here Jeremy. Every kid in school had a pocket knife.

    I hope David Shaffner learned his lesson.

  4. It’s called a pocket knife for a reason. Keep it there dumbass.

  5. Honesty is not the best policy, kids, especially with the fucked up people we have in charge these days.

  6. About ten years back I was taking an adult-ed class at the local high school, and for some reason took my keys out of my pocket. On my key chain is a small lock blade. The teacher audibly gasped. Lucky for me the dude was old school and didn’t call the cops. I could have gone to jail that night.

    1. Jesus Christ, but this country is some kind of fucked up….

      Especially the schools. And local school boards. And local governments. And county governments. And police forces, local, county and state. And federal. And federal government officials. And congress. And the president. And the bureaucracy.

      Probably some others, too.

      Other than that, we’re A OK!

      1. Basically everyone not in some sort of coercion-backed authority position is A-okay!

  7. If I accidentally dicovered something I knew I owned hadn’t left my pocket, it’d stay there even if the screeching officials have declared it wrong. The only move he should have made was no move at all, Even in high school I knew that much.

  8. The name “Fox Chapel” is highly offensive from almost every standpoint.

    1. You may want to consider changing your handle if you are concerned with offending.

  9. I’ve still got a couple grey marks in my knee from when the principal’s son stabbed me with a pencil.

    I imagine he’s still got a grey mark in his sternum from when I stabbed him back.

    These days that’d land someone in prison.

    1. That’s great. He goes for the knee, you go for the heart.

  10. Another fine young libertarian in the making.

    Everyone together now. Only contact the authorities if you want someone to be punished and you are willing to risk being that someone.

  11. There is a broader problem here, it’s the death of discretion. The school administrators did what they did here because according to the rules that’s what “they’re supposed to do.” Never mind that the rules are asinine and aren’t meant to apply to a case like this anyway, if they don’t do exactly what the procedures say they should do in such a situation, they fear nothing but problems occur.

    You would think an absurdity like this might help convince people to change things, but apparently not.

    1. You complain about lack of discretion, but meanwhile in the Airsoft gun case they’re complaining about too much discretion on the school’s part.

  12. Hire a lawyer to fight a 10 day suspension? That’s nuts, the 10 days (even if that’s counting only school days) will be over by the time anything gets done about it.

    What the article didn’t make clear was whether he was supposed to play in the game. The officials & coaches may check for jewelry, but they’re not expecting knives.

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