8-year-old facing charges for bringing knife to Ettrick Elementary

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 18:45:29-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- An eight-year-old is facing charges after bringing a pocketknife to his Chesterfield school.

Police said the boy was caught after showing a 3-inch folding knife to classmates at Ettrick Elementary School. He didn't threaten anyone, and no one was hurt, police said.

Now the student is facing charges, instead of being suspended like previous students who have brought knives to school.

Under state law, any pocket knife 3-inches and over is illegal on school property.

"There should be some consequences," said parent Kevin Smith. "But I wouldn't try to make it too harsh on the child; not 8-years-old,” said Smith.

Could the child actually be convicted?

"A judge could is going to consider the maturity level of this child," said Todd Stone, CBS 6 legal analyst.  "This is the type of thing that probably wouldn’t have been charged in the past.  But now, people are very sensitive to weapons in schools and 8 years old, there’s a pretty good argument that you just don’t have the cupability to be in the criminal system."

Todd Stone says if it’s proven that the parents gave the student access to the weapon, they could face charges too.

“If it looks like they neglected the child or some how caused the child’s delinquency by allowing him to have access to a weapon, that could’ve been a danger to the child or someone else, they parent possibly could be charged,” said Stone.

Chesterfield County Public Schools released a statement saying that they take this situation very seriously. However, they referred to an educational privacy act and would not say if any disciplinary action has been taken against the student.

Watch the video above for Sandra Jones’ complete report.