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Zero tolerance... (UPDATED)

... for common sense and reason:

Zachary Christie was ordered to spend 45 days in his district's alternative school for troublemakers after he tried to use the combination folding fork, knife and spoon to eat lunch at Downes Elementary School in Newark, Delaware.

Under the Christina School District's zero-tolerance policy, the knife is banned as a dangerous instrument under and officials said they were forced to act regardless of Zachary's age or what he planned to do with it.

"The policy, of course, needs some additional flexibility," school board member John Mackenzie said. "Politically, zero tolerance is what everybody clamours for, until we start to realize how harsh zero tolerance can be."

Zachary's mother, Debbie Christie, is appealing her son's suspension and said she would prefer that the district's policy consider a child's age and intent.


"I agree that they shouldn't bring dangerous weapons to school but I don't think the punishment should be this bad," Zachary said. "It's not fair."

Fair, dear Zachary, is defined a little differently by the Educational bureaucracy. Please make a note of it.

And you might want to be careful with how sharp your pencil is when making that note. I suspect there may be rules to govern its use as well.

Crossposted (*).

UPDATE: From the comments, word that the suspension was lifted this morning. Thanks Steve!


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Comments (11)

I wonder when I will get ar... (Below threshold)

I wonder when I will get arrested for carrying a pocket knife into a school. I have carried a pocket knife since second grade and still carry one today.
My boys wonder why I carry one and they can't, little hard to explain that the safety nannies that rule the world today can't stand the thought of someone carrying a knife let alone a gun and that is why Dad carries one but you can't.

We also know what some publ... (Below threshold)

We also know what some public school systems do about sharp minds.

The <a href="http://news.ya... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

The suspension was lifted at 10am this morning:

A Delaware first-grader who was facing 45 days in an alternative school as punishment for taking his favorite camping utensil to school can return to class after the school board made a hasty change granting him a reprieve.
While I wouldn't expect thi... (Below threshold)

While I wouldn't expect this is a grade school, I'd love to hear of a high school student getting pinched for this sort of things, and his classmates organizing a major protest by having everyone come to school openly carrying pocket knives. Force the school district to either shut the school down completely, or violate their stupid "zero tolerance" policy.

No, in high school they jus... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No, in high school they just try to have you thrown in jail.

These totalitarian jerks really do think that they are in the right and that we are the crazy ones. They really do feel threatened by a cub scout knife. In the linked story it is clear that they felt threatened by this kid's enlisting in the army. Typical liberal crap.

I still don't understand wh... (Below threshold)

I still don't understand why his mother let him take a pocket knife to school. In today's climate that is just asking for trouble.

They just should of confiscated the knife, called his Mom, explained the problem and let her come pick him and the knife up.

Matt - they can't do that b... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Matt - they can't do that because bringing the knife is a threat to their authority. If they don't come down harshly then they think they will lose control of the schools.

I suspect fear of litigatio... (Below threshold)

I suspect fear of litigation is at the bottom of this.

I love how conservatives re... (Below threshold)

I love how conservatives refuse to talk about the real issue. Schools adopted zero-tolerance so that they would not be accused of discrimination against blacks. Since any statistic of disruptive students, punishment, and discipline will show that blacks are punished at a much higher rate than whites, the school have to make sure there is not chance that a school administration can used any judgement that can be questioned by lawyers.

Zero tolerence is absolutly... (Below threshold)

Zero tolerence is absolutly the most stupid idea ever no wonder our school system sucks

Zero-tolerance was a conser... (Below threshold)

Zero-tolerance was a conservative idea. I'd be careful to ascribe it to left-wing radicals. However, the application of what was promulgated as a response to liberal wishy-washy applications of law in the adult legal system to school system authority is a bit of a stretch, and shows how an idea can be followed to extremes at great expense.






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