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August 20, 2018

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Citing ‘communistic mentality,’ son of Cliven Bundy withdraws children from county school



Ryan Bundy, left, one of Cliven Bundy’s sons, talks with David Lory VanDerBeek, an Independent American Party candidate for governor, at the family ranch near Bunkerville Sunday, April 13, 2014. Ryan’s wife Angela holds their son Moroni, 2, at center.

Citing the "communistic mentality" of county school administrators, Cliven Bundy's son has withdrawn his children from county schools.

Ryan Bundy said he made the decision following a disagreement this week with administrators at Virgin Valley High School, where his daughter was set to attend. School officials refused to let the girl carry a pocket knife on school grounds, citing safety concerns. Bundy said he feels that's a violation of his children's rights, and has decided to pursue education for them elsewhere.

"When we make a rule that affects the whole based on the actions of the few, that's communism," he said.

Bundy said he understood the safety concerns and agreed that a pocket knife wasn't necessary for day to day school activities, but added "there is no crime in having something."

When he was a student at Virgin Valley, Bundy said, he brought pocket knives and guns to school without an issue. He said he and his friends kept guns in their lockers and helped a teacher restore an antique rifle in shop class. He used his pocket knife when he wanted to clean his fingernails or scrape something away. He doesn't understand why his daughter can't do the same, and feels that students are being treated as potential criminals rather than responsible and intelligent people.

Another dispute, this time regard​​ing school officials' ability to search his daughter's locker, also contributed to his decision. He said that was a violation of her Constitutional rights.

But administrators said it's out of their hands.

"If I allow one student to carry a knife, I have to allow 40," said Cliff Hughes, principal of Virgin Valley. "On the ranch, you bet. Here we have no classes that require a knife."

According to Clark County School District discipline guidelines, “knives, including but not limited to switch blade, pen knife, pocket knife, hunting knife, and similar objects" are considered weapons.

Bundy, who said he didn't set out to publicize the issue, was upset when reporters told him that a faculty member had tipped them off to the story.

"I'm not trying to make a larger issue out of it," he said. "It's between me, my daughter and the school."

He said he would consider enrolling his daughter in the school if the principal agreed to waive the rule and allow his daughter to bring her pocket knife.

"[Children] should feel free to make those decisions," Bundy said.

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