Eagle Scout Cole Withrow was just a few weeks from graduating with honors from his North Carolina high school, but now the active church member is facing a felony weapons charge and a precarious future after accidentally leaving a shotgun in his pickup truck in the school parking lot.
Most members of the Johnston County community, just southeast of Raleigh believe the 18-year-old is paying far too big a price for an honest mistake. Withrow had been skeet shooting with friends a day before, and only noticed he had left his shotgun in his truck on Monday morning as he reached to grab his book bag, said family friend Kimberly Boykin. When he realized his mistake, rather than leave school grounds, he went to the front office to call his mother for help.
“He didn’t know what to do,” Boykin, whose son is friends with Withrow, told Fox News. “If you jump in the truck and leave, then they get you for skipping school. Once you are there you have to say.
“I think it’s an injustice for this young man,” she added. “He’s a good guy. He’s loved by his classmates and his teachers. You don’t become an Eagle Scout by being a bad seed.”
She said the school district is sending a very bad message to students.