Should we rethink schools’ zero-tolerance on knives?

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Adam and Sam* are two teenage boys who were both excluded from school for carrying knives.

Adam was caught by the police for carrying a knife after being set up by a group of older boys. It happened on a Saturday and the knife came nowhere near the school. He was in Year 11 and had never been in trouble before. On Monday morning, he was escorted to the head’s office and promptly excluded. No excuses, zero tolerance.

Sam had been threatened online by older boys who went to a different school. Terrified of what might happen on his way back from school, he packed a knife in his bag in case he ...

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