Ashley Smithwick has escaped further punishment on the charge of bringing a weapon into school
A judge has found Sanford teen Ashley Smithwick not guilty of the misdemeanor charge of bringing a weapon onto school grounds, several months after the girl’s suspension for bringing a two-inch paring knife to Southern Lee High provoked a storm of media attention — local, state and national — and scrutiny.
Officials said a judge ruled last week that Smithwick had a “lack of intent” to use the small fruit knife as a weapon when she brought it to school in a lunchbox in October, dismissing the charges against her and closing the legal book for now on the inflammatory case.
The headline says she was found “not guilty.” I’m not sure what to say, except that I think that the judge is correct. We have set up a system where people get punished for simple possession of an item regardless of whether or not that person has any intent to harm others. It’s this sort of attitude that keeps the gun-grabbers in business.
Ashley Smithwick was chucked out of school for possessing a tiny little paring knife. Any punishment she deserved for having a sharp object in school was far outweighed by the punishment she actually got. There were many allegations that Ashley was a troublemaker, and that the school was better off without her. To that I say, they should have punished her for what she did, not for some stupid paring knife which wasn’t even against the law to have at school. It just made everyone look sleazy.