School Report: Trayvon Once Suspended With 'Burglary Tool'

Latest news is attempt to 'demonize' teen, says family attorney

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 27, 2012 3:24 AM CDT | Updated Mar 27, 2012 4:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – The battle over Trayvon Martin continues. Now it emerges that the teen was suspended from his high school three times, including for carrying a screwdriver, which officials considered a "burglary tool," according to school authorities. The screwdriver was found with women's jewelry in his backpack after a school guard spotted Trayvon marking "WTF" on school lockers and searched his bag looking for the graffiti marker, reports the Miami Herald. He was also suspended after a guard found an empty plastic baggie with apparent traces of marijuana and a pot pipe, according to the school. The Martin family attorney acknowledges the baggie suspension, saying it was "irrelevant" to Trayvon's shooting death at the hands of George Zimmerman, and an attempt to "demonize" the teen. As for the screwdriver and jewelry, he says the family "never heard this, and don’t believe it’s true. If it were true, why wouldn’t they call the parents? Why wasn’t he arrested?”

According to a Miami-Dade Schools police report, the guard who found the screwdriver also found 12 pieces of women's jewelry in Trayvon's backpack, including a watch, silver wedding bands, and earrings with diamonds. Trayvon told the guard: "It's not mine. A friend gave it to me," according to the report. The jewelry was confiscated, and photos of the items were sent to police, but no evidence was found that the jewelry was stolen. Trayvon ended up being suspended for the graffiti. He was suspended earlier for truancy, said his family. Trayvon's killer had no way of knowing about the teen's school record—“because he didn’t interview him before he shot him," activist Rev. Al Sharpton said at a rally yesterday.

A Houston resident carries a sign during a solidarity rally for Trayvon Martin.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, James Nielsen)
This undated file photo provided by the Martin family, shows Trayvon Martin snowboarding.   (AP Photo/Martin Family, File)
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