Sunday, 25 October 2009

Support Eagle Scout that was Suspended for bringing a pocket knife to School

Here is a request for help to support a fellow Eagle Scout in need of our assistance:

I've recieved a few messages about Matt the Eagle Scout who was suspened from school for 4 weeks for a 2 inch pocket knife in his car. I think that as a group we should stand behind him and ask his school;s administration to change their decision. We all know that a 2 inch pocket knife is nothing mroe than a tool, and Matthew was simply being prepared for any emergency that require it, So let's help him out.

Please help by contacting Super intendent George Goodwin by em-amil at or by phone at 518-233-6850 ext. 3400.

I personally choose to send a e-mail and her is a copy of the e-mail that I sent:

Dear Superintendent George Goodwin

Hello. My name is Mark West and I am currently a Assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop in Soldotna, Alaska. I have been involved in Scout as a Youth and Adult for over 12 years. I am also a Eagle Scout and I realize that even without meeting with Matt face to face I know he is a Scout of good character and moral standards. This is just something that every Eagle Scout comes to expect from fellow Eagles.

I know for you as the superintendent it must be really hard to make some of the decisions you have to make. I realize that the School district has a zero tolerance, I know that in this case you had no choice in suspending him but I do not think that it was necessary to suspend Matt for the full 45 days, this to me seems unfair to the student and in this case in particular the punishment does not fit the crime. A punishment is definitely necessary according to district policy and changing for this student would only complicate matters for you, the family, and the district but I do suggest that you decrease the length of the suspension for two reasons. My first reason is that since there was no intention of using the knife or causing harm to others which the student clearly admits this, then the punishment should not be for the maximum length of time. I know that there is a possibility that the student that reported seeing the knife either felt like he was seriously endagered or the more likely story is that it was just another teen trying to attract attention. I just do not believe that the student report Matt ever felt he was endangered. If the student was then obviously something more is going on then the media is leading us to believe. Making this determination will hopefully allow you to reconsider the decision. Second the Scout was completely honest with security and the administration, so I believe that this should be taken into account when making your decision. Matt never tried to hide anything from you in regards to this pocketknife. ALso I do not believe that he was fully aware of why a pocketknife that he would only use in emergency's would cause such a big problem. I think that if Matt was more aware of the problem this would cause, he would have never brought the knife to school. I know from personal experience that whenever I am without a knife is the time when I need the knife the most which is probably along the same thought process Matt was thinking. Without a knife I sometimes feel naked and not able to fully participate in a activity. This nakedness comes from the Scout training both me and Matt have recieved. I know that there are rules and laws about taking knifes into certain places but I do not believe that Matt violated the law and cannot be charged with a crime. Yes he did violate school district policy and he admits that but I just don't think that he was fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

If have any questions or comments in regards to this e-mail plese feel free to e-mail me at: or

You can also reach me via cell phone at the following number:


Thank you in advanced for taking the time to read and consider my perspective. It is greatly appreciated.

Mark West
Scouting Volunteer.

Please feel free to use sections or ideas from this e-mail in order to write one to the Superintendent. We all have a duty to act upon this and help this Eagle Scout.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616
Great Alaska COuncil
Eagle Scout OA Brotherhood Member
NSJ '05 WSJ '07 '11 Philmont AA '08

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