Tuesday, October 13, 2009

6-Year-Old Boy Suspended for Bringing Fork/Spoon/Knife Tool to School

Zachary Christie, a 6-year-old Newark, Delaware boy, was excited about joining the Cub Scouts. So excited that he brought a camping utensil — a knife, fork, spoon three-in-one combo — to school to use at lunch.

Under the school's Zero Sense Zero Tolerance policy, Zachary's tool qualifies as a weapon, and so he was suspended, and may have to spend 45 days in the Newark's reform school, said a story in the New York Times.

“It just seems unfair,” Zachary told the Times. He is currently home-schooling with his mom while they appeal the Draconian punishment.

The Christina School District said they had to suspend him, "regardless of (the) possessor's intent," knives are banned in school. Even ones that school-sanctioned organizations provide to their youngest members.

There was no word about why forks, which are equally stabby, are given out every day to all the children at lunch time.

Many residents, says the Times, are wondering why school officials can't/won't/don't exercise more discretion in these cases.

Actually, the state of Delaware has said Zero Tolerance is basically stupid and doesn't help school safety one whit. They even gave school districts the leeway to expel or not expel students.

Looks like the school administrators weren't able to read the legislation, what with their heads being painfully lodged up their asses.

Apparently, some school administrators have had their heads lodged for a long time, because they "argue that it is difficult to distinguish innocent pranks and mistakes from more serious threats"

Here's a hint: if it's a 6-year-old boy and he's using it to eat his lunch, it's an innocent mistake.

“There is no parent who wants to get a phone call where they hear that their child no longer has two good seeing eyes because there was a scuffle and someone pulled out a knife,” said George Evans, the president of the Christina district’s school board, told the Times.

True, true. There is also no parent who wants to get a phone call where they hear their child has just been branded a violent criminal because some myopic school administrator can't exercise the good judgment they profess to be teaching the children.

Evans did say the school board might change the rules, at least when it comes to younger children.

That's fine, but the harm has been done. Zachary has been suspended, and told he's a bad kid for bringing a freaking kitchen utensil to school. The same kinds of utensils you give out on a daily basis. For once, try to exercise a little common sense and do the right thing for a little boy who was only excited about Cub Scouts.

And if you, dear reader, want to help Zachary get his suspension overturned, visit the HelpZachary.com website his mom created and sign the electronic petition. And if you have Zero Tolerance policies in your own school districts, send them to the website and encourage them to read up on all the findings that show Zero Tolerance has been a total failure, causing nothing but headaches and heartaches for the innocent children caught up in its net.

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3 comments:

  1. I just wrote the following and sent it to the following school district and school board members. I respectfully request you do something similar.

    LYLESM@christina.k12.de.us
    DENNEYS@christina.k12.de.us
    WILLIAMSF@christina.k12.de.us
    evansg@christina.k12.de.us
    dresler@verizon.net
    backusgr@aol.com
    mackenziej@christina.k12.de.us
    saffers@christina.k12.de.us
    scheinberge@christina.k12.de.us
    youngjm@christina.k12.de.us

    Dear School Board Members and District Staff,

    I found an article on the Internet today and later heard that multiple national media outlets have aired segments about young Mr. Zachary. I would like to weight in and voice my own displeasure in the adoption of your states Zero Tolerance policies, but I understand the law is not under your control. What is under your control is your ability to use your discretion in reviewing his petition to be immediately readmitted to Downes Elementary and forgo his placement in the Douglass Alternative School. I hope that your judgment and his obvious lack of intent will assist you in making the right decision.

    I also urge your support of the adoption of House Bill 120, which will give back the tools you require to govern your own school matters.

    The Nation is watching,

    XXXX

    "Sometimes the reader will decide something else than the author's intent; this is certainly true of attempts to empirically decipher reality."
    John M. Ford

    ReplyDelete
  2. At least partial success was achieved. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. @David, what happened? What's the partial success?

    ReplyDelete

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