What happens when a 6 year old joins Cub Scouts, and gets a new official cub scout knife complete with fork and spoon? He takes it to school to show his friends, of course, and to eat his lunch. He's a 6 year old, people. Not in Newark Delaware. That's a hanging offense, well if not a hanging offense, then a go to reform school for 45 days offense.
6 year old Zachary Christie was the miscreant here, though maybe his parents deserve a tiny bit of a smack down, and certainly the school board nitwits deserve a swift kick in the shorts.
As US News & World Report files the story here, the Saga of the Suspended 6 year old has ended with Zachary not seeing the inside of a reform school. Here's some of what happened about the Z man's suspension:
The decision by school officials to suspend Zachary was based on the district's zero-tolerance policy on weapons. Despite protests from Zachary and his family, administrators at the Christina School District initially defended the punishment, saying they had no choice. Last night's unanimous school board vote let Zachary return to school today and reduced the punishment for kindergartners or first graders who take potential weapons to school or commit violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.
Zero tolerance policy on weapons. Since when is a boy scout knife, fork and spoon set a weapon? How about zero tolerance on thinking, not just outside the box, but at all.
Of course there was dissent:
But not everyone believes the district went too far. Jill Kneisley, who runs the special-education programs at Jennie Smith Elementary in Newark, told the AP that if Zachary or another student had been hurt by the knife, the district would have taken the blame. There is also concern among school leaders that softening the disciplinary terms might send an inconsistent or biased message to other students.
What if some kid gets hurt by the cutlery that they have in the school cafeteria or the lid of a toilet seat. Have toilet seats been banned as weapons, and if not, why not? I've been attacked by toilet seats. One night recently, in the middle of the night, as I went to the loo, in my nightly bladder smaller than water it contains jaunts, I swear it attacked me, and it has the bruises to prove it.
Well, maybe somebody has put their thinking cap on. Read this:
Zachary's mother started a website, helpzachary.com, to recruit supporters to pressure the school board and superintendent to reverse the decision. After last night's vote, she wrote, "It is our hope that by working with the school board and local lawmakers, we'll be able to overturn and do away with all zero-tolerance policies and put into place policies that will take into consideration a student's age, intent, disciplinary history, and other circumstances that arise on a case by case basis."
Many districts nationwide have adopted zero-tolerance policies on weapons to combat student violence after the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings, but debate has grown over whether the policies have become too severe. Education experts say the policies were initially treated more subjectively, but when studies revealed that under this system more African-Americans were expelled or suspended than other students for the same offenses, officials removed discretion from the disciplinary policies.
This is all too logical, and worst of all, reasonable. Zachary's Mom seems to have more than a hat rack on her shoulders. I can't see this ending well in our liberal run amok world, but she is giving it the old grade school try. Good on You, Mrs. Christie. Do you make good cookies?