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10-year-old student arrested after using knife on steak

Principal Issac Burgess IV must have less intelligence than his students. From the Orlando Sentinel-

OCALA - A 10-year-old girl could face a felony weapons charge after she brought a kitchen knife to school with her steak lunch, the child's uncle said Saturday.

Marion County deputies arrested the girl Thursday at Sunrise Elementary School and took her to the Juvenile Assessment Center. School faculty had seen her cutting the steak with the knife at lunch. They took the knife away from her before calling the Sheriff's Office and her uncle.

Her uncle, Kenneth Thomas, said the child was distraught by the arrest.

I'd be distraught too. If I was Thomas or any of this girl's family, I'd be bringing this story to the attention of every major media organization there is. The Orlando Sentinel and Ocala Star Banner are a start, Wizbang is glad to help.

Rules to keep weapons out of school have a purpose. Using a knife on steak, I think that would tell anyone isn't a crime. Instead some brainless school officials call the police.

Note- Pencils, pens, even eyeglasses(Anyone remember the scene in The Godfather Part III?) and other items can be turned into dangerous weapons. However we do allow them into schools. We expect school officials to use common sense, which apparently no one involved with Marion County schools possess. This newspaper article has a school spokesperson give the canned response 'has zero tolerance for weapons on school grounds." Brains must be baned on school grounds too. For both articles clearly state, the girl wasn't threatening, just eating her lunch. Eating lunch is a crime in Central Florida!

From Sunrise Elementary School's front page

Do What's Right, Do Your Best, Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated.
Principal Burgess and the rest of this school's sorry administration doesn't practice what they preach.

I've never been one to urge people to protest. My means of protesting is giving people Knucklehead awards over at my main blog. However I'll make an exception for Mr. Burgess and the school he runs. Feel free to bombard them with emails and phone calls. Here's the information.

Sunrise Elementary School
375 Marion Oaks Course
Ocala, FL 34473
Phone: (352) 671-6200
Fax: (352) 671-6206
(800) 955-8770 (FRS)
(800) 955-8771 (TTY)
[email protected]

Marion County School board contacts
Voice 352-671-7703

School Chairperson Judi Zanetti 352-671-7995 [email protected]
Steve Hering (352)245-4146 [email protected]
Vice Chair Bobby L. James (352) 427-3781 [email protected]
Sue Mosley (352)624-1875 [email protected]
Ron Crawford 352)591-0356 [email protected]

The people responsible for jailing the 10-year-old, need to be made into laughingstocks. Harrassing these idiots for a start, I think is only justified. They need to see what an outrageous mistake was made at Sunrise Elementary School, and make sure it never happens again.


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Comments (17)

Good luck, but I doubt your... (Below threshold)

Good luck, but I doubt your protests will do any good. School administrators think kicking out of school students such as this immunizes them from having to face the cameras when the one crazy student goes off with a weapon*.

Of course, as with 'weapon free' zones everywhere, this in no way means that such attacks won't happen, it is just in their perverted minds, it allows them to say that they did all they could to prevent such attacks.

* And a zero-tolerance policy also immunizes them against cries of racism, should they use their discretion and later be found to not be expelling equally students of different races. Better to kick out everyone, innocent or not, black or white, than to have to explain one's thinking to a mob.

And we wonder why our stude... (Below threshold)

And we wonder why our students are lagging other first and second world countries' students in academics.

Here's you answer. Jesus.

I'm not saying it was or wa... (Below threshold)

I'm not saying it was or wasn't the case here, but it's possible that there was more going on here than meets the eye. Kids are always pushing the envelope, testing to see how far they can go.

Is this a little neighborhood school, or is this a pretty tough place trying to keep the lid on gang activity?

There is, of course, no doubt that school administrations harbor some of the country's most foolish people. Even so, I can easily imagine circumstances where this action by the principal in question might be reasonable, had we been there.

For example, while both articles agree she wasn't threatening anyone with the knife at the time, we only have the Uncle's word for it that this girl isn't a complete hellion.

Hands could be used as weap... (Below threshold)

Hands could be used as weapons.

Pencils can be stuck in one's eyes.

A protractor has a sharp point on one end.

Metal edge rulers can be sharpened to slice.

All are "weapons."

I remember a folk tale abou... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

I remember a folk tale about a town that outlawed the carrying of swords. The young blades of the town responded by carrying scabbards, with hilts in them. Except when you pulled the hilt out of the scabbard, the item sheathed proved to be a phallus. Maybe its time for public school students to consider doing likewise. After all, there is likely no rule against carrying phalluses.

If I wanted to do a hurt on someone in a school, a knife would not be my weapon of choice. Every classroom contains a variety of items that can be used as improvised weapons, from scissors down to the flagpole.

When I was in high school I got stabbed in the cafeteria by someone who thought a knife made him a big man. By the time the fight was over, he was within thirty seconds of dying. The only reason I did not kill him was that four other students pulled me off of him before I could finish the job.

When I came back to school after two weeks in the hospital (he punctured a lung with his initial attack), I was unsure whether any of this guy's friends would bother me. Turned out I was worrying unnecessarily. He had few friends, and those he did have were unwilling to fight anyone crazy enough to attack someone who had a knife bare-handed, and win. (I think the winning part may have been more of a discriminator than the crazy part.)

Since I was still weak, I brought an equalizer -- a 12-inch adjustable crescent wrench. The school cop wanted to talk to me to see how I was doing and noticed the wrench sticking out of my pocket. He looked at me and said "I don't think you will need that."

I replied that I had been having problems with my bicycle, and it was the only tool I could find on my way to school. He nodded, and said, "I see where it could be useful." That was it, nothing else was said, and I had no hassles about the wrench.

That was back in the 1970s. Today I would have been sent to a bad-boy school for defending myself when I was attacked. I suspect I still would have gotten away with carrying the wrench, because of my explanation, but who knows. What I do know is that my three sons were home-schooled. In large part it was due to incidents such as the one with the steak knife.

One thing I think is being ... (Below threshold)

One thing I think is being overlooked is the police response to this. Since when do police officers arrest 10yr olds for things they should be able to determine are not worthy of arrest. I am a police officer and I would have laughed at the school administration if I was there. Police have wide discretion in arresting or not arresting depending on the situation. I don't know if they were ordered to do this by a superior or some Deputy D.A., but somewhere someone is lacking common sense. Police have a tough enough job without having to also deal with negative fall-out from stupidity like this.

I concur on Howcome's post.... (Below threshold)

I concur on Howcome's post. Its possible its police policy to defer to the school authorities, but the school don't have the authority to compell the police to follow that policy. Someone else does and they probably have the power to make an exception. And then there's the prosecutor who can through this out as well.

I sometimes can't tell if zero tolerance is abused to avoid having to make judgments and then be accountable for them. Or, if it is to punish law abiding parents and students for making teachers accountable for enforcement.

The local pols probably ord... (Below threshold)

The local pols probably ordered the police to 'fully cooperate' with school authorities when it comes to the 'zero tolerance' policies.

It gave the pols a chance to 'look tough' while taking no responsibility for incidents like this.

Zero tolerance is a ... (Below threshold)

Zero tolerance is a way for ineffectual school administrators to show that they are "tough on drugs" and "tough on crime" by coming down hard with both feet on kids who bring aspirin and steak knives to school!

"Zero tolerance" rules gene... (Below threshold)

"Zero tolerance" rules generally mean administrators have "zero intelligence." If school administrations cannot be entrusted with using their own discretion and common sense, what are they doing there? The clerks handle the paperwork, so if there is no judgment to be exercised, administrators are merely keeping chairs warm and drawing paychecks.

At least this girl had a "real" knife that got them all in a tizzy. I've heard of these rules being enforced against plastic knives, and even against kids who made a "gun" with their fingers and said "Bang!"

With such stupidity at the top, is it any wonder the public schools put out such an inferior quality product?

Dead on, Jim. Zero toleran... (Below threshold)

Dead on, Jim. Zero tolerance policies are CYA policies to conceal the incompetence of school administration.

Unfortunately, one of the things that greatly annoys me these days is that people tolerate with little complaint an extraordinary amount of tolerance from the great mass of incompetent school administration. The greatest threat to our country is the Doctorate of Education.

Paper is dangerous too, Ive... (Below threshold)

Paper is dangerous too, Ive gotten many paper cuts over the years and also have almost choked to death on eraser chalk dust.

Wheres the outrage over these offenses?

I wonder if She remembered the A-1 steak sauce too?

The article says that "she ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The article says that "she brought a kitchen knife to school." Kitchen knifes are extremely dangerous and have no place anywhere on school grounds. The police should immediately search the school kitchens, seize all the knives and arrest the kitchen staff. They should also check the biology department, wood, and automotive shops for other sharp knives and seize them as well. After all, the school's zero tolerance policy must be enforced apart from all rational thought and judgement.

Its getting as bad as stude... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Its getting as bad as students being arrested for drawing guns or solders or a case in whci snooping scool officials arested a student becuase these big nosed scool idiots found s knife that ws under her cars floorboards FRANKLY THE SCHOOL OFFICIALS SHOULD KEEP THEIR BIG FAT NOSES OUT OF OTHERS PRIVATE PROPERTY EVEN IF ITS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS or expelling kids with little tiny action figure guns or confictaing those same tiny guns at the airportts ITS HARD TO FLY LIKE A EAGLE WHEN YOUR WORKING FOR TURKEYS

It is a 10 year old girl. ... (Below threshold)
Spencer Gross:

It is a 10 year old girl. You walk over to her. Ask for the knife. Cut her steak to her liking. Tell her you are going to keep the knife. Tell her next time she doesn't need to bring a knife just ask for help. Help her off to recess. Call the guardian and ask them to not let her bring a knife. Common sense people Common Sense.

Another post title that rea... (Below threshold)

Another post title that reads like The Onion, and truth really is stranger than fiction. Poor little kid. I'll bet she was all proud of herself and wanted to show that she knew how to use a steak knife, too. Hopefully, she won't be permanently traumatized. Spencer nailed it.

I agree, bombard these fool... (Below threshold)
David MacLeary:

I agree, bombard these fools with emails / phone calls expressing your opinion. I just did. I like this quote someone put on another blog:

It takes an IQ close to zero to administer a "zero tolerance" policy.






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