Suspended teen’s mother thinks punishment for carrying mace is harsh

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – People carry Mace for protection, but one student at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in St. Louis accidentally brought it to school.  

Now, she’s serving a 10-day suspension for what her mother Clara Holmes says was an honest mistake.   

“It was a freak mistake. It was an accident. She didn’t get caught with it in her purse in the building, she was stopped at the door, and it was taken from her,” Clara Holmes said.  

Holmes’ daughter rides the bus home from work at 10:30 at night in an area where self-protection is necessary, so she carries Mace. After a quick rest, she’s up for school at 5:30. 

She forgot to take the Mace out of her bag and it was confiscated at school. The problem Holmes has is how the school addressed the mistake her daughter made.  

A 10-day suspension that she’s currently serving.  

“If they would’ve called me, I would’ve just told them to throw it in the trash can. It will never happen again,” Holmes said. “This one mistake caused her to have a 10-day suspension I don’t think that that was necessary.” 

Holmes wonders how the school can expect children living in and, in some cases working, in dangerous areas could be punished for taking steps to stay safe.  

“A lot of people aren’t getting up and walking the kids to school so what’s a young teenage lady supposed to do?” Holmes said.

Rules are rules though.  

Fox 2 reached out to St. Louis Public Schools and Director of Communications George Sells directed us to the district’s website for its code of conduct.  

The website says mase is prohibited. Fox 2 spoke to another parent who agrees that the punishment is too heavy for the offense. 

“Find an easier solution instead of suspending someone for 10 days for Mace,” Kamaran Young said. “Especially if she’s doing good, come on now. A slap on the wrist is fair.” 

Holmes had this suggestion for the school district.  

“They keep her phone, so they can keep the Mace, and put in the bag and put their name on it,” Holmes said.  

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