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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2007
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7-year-old girl suspended after bringing knife to school

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A 7-year-old Montgomery girl, who brought a butcher knife to class in her bookbag, is facing a criminal charge for what she told police was an attempt to protect herself.

Lt. Keith Barnett said the girl brought the knife to her second-grade class at Martin Luther King Elementary School on Friday.

Officers released the girl to her parents after charging her with illegal possession of a weapon on a school campus.

Tom Salter, a Montgomery Public Schools spokesman, said the girl has been suspended and could be expelled.

Salter said school administrators learned about the weapon from a teacher and called police.

"The girl told another student she had a knife, and the student reported it to the teacher," he said Wednesday. "The teacher checked her bookbag and found it."

Barnett said the girl told officers that the knife was for protection.

The record of her arrest will be sent to juvenile court.

School board officials have 10 days from the time of the incident to conduct the girl's expulsion hearing.

She'll remain out of school until then.

Salter explained that a student's punishment depends on the weapon and circumstances.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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