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High School Senior Tries to Do the Right Thing, Gets Expelled and Faces Felony Charges

A North Carolina high school senior faces felony charges and expulsion from school for calling his mother to retrieve a loaded gun that he had accidentally left in his car after arriving on campus.

David “Cole” Withrow of Johnston, North Carolina awaits sentencing for a crime that he was attempting to prevent. The high school senior went to campus one day and forgot to remove his shotgun from his car after a weekend of skeet shooting. He then called his mother to come pick it up, but was overheard by school staff and his punishment followed.

Withrow was immediately expelled from the school, and his graduation and college entry status have been jeopardized. He also has been charged with a felony for bringing a loaded gun to school.

The Johnston community is outraged with this outcome. It feels that Withrow should not be punished so severely as he was trying to do the right thing. He is also an honor student, Eagle Scout and has earned scholarships for Campbell University and East Carolina University, which makes his penalties seem even more outlandish.

There have also been instances in the past where school employees have brought loaded guns to school, and their offenses were not treated at all the in same way as Withrow’s. However, when officials bring weapons to school it is only considered a misdemeanor while students bringing guns on campus is an immediate felony.

Social media sites have been created to appeal the treatment that Withrow has received. Whether it was the influence of these sites or simply a redaction of the original hasty decision, Withrow’s expulsion has been removed. He can now complete his senior year and graduate; however, it will be through a secondary school. It is also currently unclear if the felony will affect his admissions and scholarships for college.

Though these laws are put in place to protect, it is understandable why this situation is warranting such an uproar. Withrow was not intending to use the weapon, and he likely would have gotten away with having it in his car had he not tried to be responsible and get it removed. The phone call that he made to his mother was private and therefore should not have been used against him either, technically.

However, had the school not done anything, students could have been put under the impression that it is okay to bring weapons to school. If Withrow got away with a loaded gun in his car, why can’t others bring pocket knives? Though the severity of the punishment is questionable and has already been mended, it is necessary that Withrow receive some form of reprimand for making the mistake. As strange as it may appear because it was this student in this situationScience Articles, the charges are all made to prevent something worse from happening.

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Robert Koenig is part of the Accident Attorneys' Group. If you are in need of any legal advice, help or information, contact us today.

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