Zero tolerance: two-inch pocket knife in car may derail Eagle Scout's Life
High school senior Matthew Whalen is the kind of student any parent would want.
He's an Eagle Scout, on the honor roll, taking Advanced Placement classes, and never been in trouble with the law. He's received commendations from the City of Troy and the Boy Scouts of America for saving a woman's life, and this past summer, he completed Army basic training. All of it was accomplished before the age of 17.
"I'm just trying to do what I can while I can," Matthew says.
His goal is to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a dream since he was in grade school.
"I have a first-grade yearbook that says I want to be driving tanks in the Army," Matthew says. "I mean, this is something that I know I've always wanted to do."
But the dream could be in jeopardy, thanks to a two-inch pocket knife that officials at Lansingburgh Senior High School found in Matthew's locked car last month. The pocket knife was a gift from his grandfather, Robert Whalen, who's the Hoosick Falls Police Chief. Matthew says he kept the knife in a side compartment and never tried showing it off or threatening anyone with it. Instead it was a part of the survival kit that was his car.
"My car is designed in a way that if I ever broke down, I'd be OK," Whalen explains. "I have a sleeping bag. I have bottled water. I have an MRE. I believe it's better to be prepared and not need it than need it and not have it."
Matthew says school officials approached him on Sept. 21, asking if he had a weapon on him. When Matthew answered he did not, he says the officials asked if he had a knife in his car. Matthew said it was a pocket knife, and took officials to his car when asked. He also turned over the pocket knife when asked. . . .
Cub Scout suspended for bringing an eating utensil to school. The poor boy faces 45 days in reform school. The video from Fox News is here.