Manicure Set or Knife?

Megan Lovell
Megan Lovell
Sharon Cooley
Sharon Cooley

Manicure Set or Knife?
By: Crystal Britt

MALDEN, Mo. - Call it a sign of the times.  We know guys can't carry pocket knives to school anymore, and girls...better watch what you bring in your purse. 
A 16-year-old girl from Malden finds out this week the hard way.  The sophomore, Megan Lovell, brought what her grandmother, Sharon Cooley, calls a manicure set to school. Someone tattled and Cooley says her granddaughter got suspended and is now spending time at the alternative school.
Grandma says it's unfair...the superintendent says, the school's just sticking to policy.
"They say it's a weapon that it has a knife on it.  It's a fingernail cleaning manicure set, no knife to it, it's not a weapon.  She was in the bathroom and two girls were in her class saw it hanging on the strap of her purse," said Sharon Cooley.
Apparently a boy in the class saw it, and told a teacher.  Malden Superintendent Kenneth Cook couldn't talk about the specific case, but would talk about the weapons policy.
"Of course we try to use a little common sense, but if a device has a knife blade...it's a knife.  I bring our school resources officer in many times and say is this a knife?  Yeah...if it has a knife blade it's still a knife," said Cook. 
Right now school leaders are working on new plans, ways to keep intruders out.  Although sometimes the problems are internal, which is why there's no tolerance when it comes to weapons or anything that looks like one.
"Back in my experience, I've had a student cut another student with a piece of glass.  It was small, but didn't make a difference.  It still inflicts injury," said Cook. 
Sharon Cooley says she understands that.
"I agree (that it shouldn't be at school) because it's not a necessary item like the handbook says," Cooley said.
She's spending a lot of time checking and double checking the handbook, wondering if there's a way to get her granddaughter out of trouble.
"I realize we've gotta protect our children and weapons are not allowed in school, but something that's not a weapon shouldn't be treated this way," said Cooley.