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September 21, 2023

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Sixth grader saves life, punished for breaking rules that were not her fault

You may have heard the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished.”

This was certainly the case for a sixth grader in Virginia last week when, after persuading a peer to stop cutting his arm with a razor, she was suspended for 10 days and faced expulsion.

The student, Adrionna Harris, took the razor from her peer, threw it away and reported the incident to school officials.

They responded with punishment instead of praise.

Apparently, even holding the razor for the few seconds it took to carry it to the trash meant Harris was wielding a weapon.

Harris’ mother told WAVY 10 On Your Side, a local news organization, that her daughter acted fast because “she thought he would bleed out, as he was cutting himself, and there was no teacher in sight. It was a 911 situation, and there wasn’t time to find a teacher.”

Just what else was Harris supposed to do in this situation?

Helping a self-harming student is courageous, compassionate, and just the right thing to do.

But Harris’ school is sending the wrong message to its students by punishing her for her heroic actions.

One of the most important lessons one should learn as a kid is how important it is to be there for others and to help them through tough times.

Luckily, Harris learned this lesson, one far more important than school protocol.

“Even if I got in trouble, it didn’t matter because I was helping him … I would do it again even if I got suspended, yes,” she said.

It seems to me that school officials are more concerned with enforcing the rules and avoiding liability more than the health and safety of their students.

But school officials have a duty to help instill moral responsibility in their students and teach them to step up when they see a problem and try to stop it.

If you know someone who you think is suicidal, don’t ignore it.

There are many resources available in Bowling Green, including the counseling center, which offers its services for free.

Harris should be applauded for saving the life of her peer.

When it comes to the moral test, Harris passed with flying colors.

Her school failed.

Respond to Emily at

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