When I was a little kid, pocket knives were fairly common. So were Swiss Army Knives. Before the age of technology, people thought that Swiss Army Knives were cool.
So when I was little, my father gave me a small pocket knife that was also a bottle opener. It was fairly harmless. I kept it with me for about a decade until I broke it trying to fix a loose chain on my bicycle.
I don't think that there was any problem taking something like this to school. It was a different era. Today it would be considered a weapon.