Well, it’s been dead for some time, but this is like poking its dead rotting carcass with a stick.  A six-year-old Cub Scout in Delaware faced 45 days in an alternative school for bringing a folding fork, knife, & spoon, a camping utensil, to school.

The school relented, he’s now just suspended for a few days… it’s still ridiculous.  He is six.  Take the utensil away from him and give it to his mom at the end of the day or the next time she comes in.  But oh know he must be some mass murderer hell bent on killing as many of his first grade friends as he can.

AP via Fox News reports:

The school board made a hasty change to its strict code of conduct Tuesday night.

The seven-member board voted unanimously to reduce the punishment for kindergartners and first-graders who bring weapons to school or commit other violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.

Zachary Christie, 6, had faced 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers after he brought the utensil to school with the intent of using it to eat his lunch.

The same school district reportedly expelled a fifth grader who brought a serrated knife to cut a birthday cake he brought.  It was later overturned, but come on.  It should have never happened!

I understand the tension that administrators face desiring to keep their students face.  I was the Dean of Students for a Christian school in Northwest Indiana, and had to suspend a student who made what in my day would have been seen as a benign threat.  I wanted to err on the side of caution.  He was in high school.  This kid was six, and didn’t realize at the time what he did was wrong.

Let’s bring some common sense back to our schools.  A one-size fits all punishment is rarely an appropriate remedy.

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  1. “Zero tolerance” is often a synonym for “stupid,” isn’t it?

    The problem is that it removes the need to think from the administrators. I’m all for very strict punishment for actual violence or actual intent to commit violence.

    But a folding eating utensil?

    In other cases, kids have been punished for carrying aspirin or (as a drug dealer) for giving a friend a cough drop.

    We won’t get into the fact that I carried a Swiss Army knife to school every day from about the 7th grade. Obviously, I was a terrorist for those years …
    .-= Wickle´s last blog ..John Shore vs. Roman Polanski =-.

  2. I wouldn’t even call what the kid did wrong.. It’s like suspending somebody for having a pair of nail clippers or a nail file.. can do a whole lot more damage with a nail file than a camping utensil. Think they just need to re-evaluate what they consider a weapon. I mean seriously.. a sharp pencil is more dangerous than that thing.

  3. Well, Shane – Delaware is on the East Coast after all. How can you expect them to display common sense when they’re so close to Europe?

    I have a 7 year old boy in Chicago Public Schools – I feel for that little boy and all he went through!

    But if anyhting, this is reason to ENGAGE our public schools, not abandon them. I’m not with the homeschoolers on this one!
    .-= Steve L´s last blog ..The Urban War =-.

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