Community turns out to defend suspended honor student

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Sam Serrato listens to speakers during school board meeting to reconsider his school suspension.

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Community members packed an Escondido School District board meeting Tuesday night to demand a high school student be let back in class after a knife was found in his family’s SUV.

Two weeks ago, drug-sniffing dogs in the San Pasqual High School parking lot stopped at the vehicle driven by Sam Serrato. During a search, a three-inch hunting knife was discovered in the glove compartment, but no drugs were found.

The school, citing a zero-tolerance policy, suspended Serrato, an honor-roll student and star athlete.

Serrato’s family, fellow students and teachers rallied for the district to lift the suspension.

"He does not deserve this for a mistake that we made. It wasn't his fault," said Yvonne Serrato, Sam's mother.

No action was taken at the meeting, and Serrano’s suspension remained in place.

According to friends of the family, Serrato and his parents have been ask to attend a meeting Friday morning where board members will consider lifting the suspension.

The district declined to comment about the suspension, but a spokesperson said “providing for the education of all students in a safe environment is a top priority.”

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