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  1. #1
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    7 Yr Old Suspended

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/ed...e.html?_r=1&bl

    Seven year old Zachary's offense?

    "Taking a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary was suspended and now faces 45 days in the districtís reform school."

  2. #2
    I completely understand and support a no-tolerance policy on weapons. But...even though it is "no" tolerance, that is often taken way too far. The poor kid wanted to eat his lunch with it. Come on...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho4Groenes View Post
    I completely understand and support a no-tolerance policy on weapons. But...even though it is "no" tolerance, that is often taken way too far. The poor kid wanted to eat his lunch with it. Come on...
    Everybody wants zero tolerance on weapons and drugs, but what constitutes a weapon or a drug can vary from state to state. Eyedrops are drugs here, as is medicated lip balm. (Yep, that's medicated as in menthol/eucalyptus is added) Zero tolerance has come to be equated with zero intelligence.

    It is ridiculous to sentence a seven year old to 45 days of reform school for bringing a boy-scout eating utensil to school. Beyond stupidity to take a sweet, excited boy scout and expose him to 45 days of really bad kids!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    Everybody wants zero tolerance on weapons and drugs, but what constitutes a weapon or a drug can vary from state to state. Eyedrops are drugs here, as is medicated lip balm. (Yep, that's medicated as in menthol/eucalyptus is added) Zero tolerance has come to be equated with zero intelligence.

    It is ridiculous to sentence a seven year old to 45 days of reform school for bringing a boy-scout eating utensil to school. Beyond stupidity to take a sweet, excited boy scout and expose him to 45 days of really bad kids!
    There's really nothing more that can be said beyond that. Zero tolerance is a complete unadulterated joke - a farce perpetuated by adults too lazy to deal with children and incidents individually.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  5. #5
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    What a cute little boy. I guess the next things banned will be papers, pens and pencil as all of them could hurt someone. (sarcasm intended).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    Everybody wants zero tolerance on weapons and drugs, but what constitutes a weapon or a drug can vary from state to state. Eyedrops are drugs here, as is medicated lip balm. (Yep, that's medicated as in menthol/eucalyptus is added) Zero tolerance has come to be equated with zero intelligence.

    It is ridiculous to sentence a seven year old to 45 days of reform school for bringing a boy-scout eating utensil to school. Beyond stupidity to take a sweet, excited boy scout and expose him to 45 days of really bad kids!
    Yeah, I agree with you. I guess I should have said that I support the idea of it in theory. Not the way it is inforced. The article said that the little boy wore a suit and tie to school sometimes, just because, and he took school very seriously. This punishment is rediculous.

  7. #7
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    I still haven't gotten over that incident from last year where some straight-A 6th grader who had never been in trouble a day in her life got popped (and saddled with some outrageous punishment) for putting a bread and butter knife in her lunch to cut a steak sandwich in half.

    This sort of nonsense gets my hackles WAY up.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2006
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    That is ridiculous and has to stop, it's obvious that a lot of these children are young, and do not fit a troubled profile.
    It never was like this back when i was in school, i think a lot of parents and grandparents, we wouldn't think twice about bringing in a butter knife or freak out about a camping utensil tool, the schools have become a source of paranoia since those times, a lot has changed.
    The Christina School district (where the boy in the article goes) seems to have had a lot of controversal incidents like this, going back to 2007 when a 3rd grader was expelled for a year because her grandmother sent her to school with a cake and cake knife to cut it for her birthday.
    The article states "the teacher called in the principal- but not before using the knife to cut the cake"
    That's disgraceful!
    The schools need to go on a case by case basis, it's the only way, especially with these younger children.
    They are getting conflicting signals, you have cub scouts giving them a camping tool which is perfectly fine, and then the school overreacting about it and suspending them.
    "The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair."

    -J. Edgar Hoover

  9. #9
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    Seven years old. I say work two jobs and put the child in a good private school and forget the trashy abusive public place. If the mom or even another relative doesn't work, look into homeschooling. There's co ops in many cities that offer support and meet once a week for activities. Anything would be better than being treated this way, all the while paying taxes for the school system.

  10. #10
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    Someone tell me what exactly is a weapon? Scissors are sold and used by elementary kids, yet they're not considered weapons, although a cub scout fit together trio of a spoon, fork, and dull knife is?

    Schools have lost all common sense.


  11. #11
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    Good for the school. You know, everyone has rules they have to follow. But, it's a choice to follow them or not. If you don't, you face consequences, just like this young man did. I know many will say that this is taking the rules "too far," and it's an unfortunate fact in today's times, that that is necessary.

    If someone's child had been hurt (cut or stabbed) by the utensils on this camping set, do you think they'd just shrug it off and say, "oh c'mon, it was a camping set, for goodness sake!" I don't think so. They'd be all over the school and the parents.

    From reading everyone else's posts, this little boy has gotten nothing but support....but did you read his last statement... "I think the rules are what's wrong, not me." Somehow, that phase just doesn't sit right with me. (Yes, the rules need to be more "uniform" -- someone had a good point -- scissors are allowed, but not this dull knife on a camping set???")

    But the child's comment...that there's nothing wrong with him -- i.e. what he did -- (I'm sure that's what his parents told him, as well as many well-meaning friends) even though he broke the rules (though I don't know if this was deliberate or not) worries me. Will this child grow up to think that rules only need to be followed if he thinks they're good ones? And if he doesn't follow them, hey, there's nothing wrong with him, it's the rules. I wonder how many of the suspects we dissect on WS have felt the same way?
    Last edited by oh_gal; 10-13-2009 at 08:50 AM. Reason: clarification

  12. #12
    If he had been a troubled child I can see where this would be an issue. Listen to me school board: HE'S A seven year BOY SCOUT for goodness sakes!

    Zero tolerance means this child will now have a record for bringing a weapon to school when he had no intention of using it as such. Does zero tolerance also mean he couldn't have been talked to about school policy and therefore removing the tool until the end of the day? Oh no, far too simple. Let's ruin the poor boy scouts record permanently.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    Good for the school. You know, everyone has rules they have to follow. But, it's a choice to follow them or not. If you don't, you face consequences, just like this young man did. I know many will say that this is taking the rules "too far," and it's an unfortunate fact in today's times, that that is necessary.

    If someone's child had been hurt (cut or stabbed) by the utensils on this camping set, do you think they'd just shrug it off and say, "oh c'mon, it was a camping set, for goodness sake!" I don't think so. They'd be all over the school and the parents.
    45 days in reform school? Are you kidding me?

    While I agree that weapons are an issue in many schools, it's true (as the poster above mentioned) that almost anything can be a weapon. We had a student asked to leave the school because he stabbed/accidentally bumped (depending on who you believe) another child with the tip of a pencil. But they didn't ban pencils!

    If this child had, indeed, done anything to indicate a harmful intent or even irresponsible use of this fork and spoon set, then I would agree with you. But since he innocently brought it to eat lunch, then I think it falls into the same category as other utensils or school supplies. Or are their school lunches all utensil free? (Maybe fried chicken and peanut butter sandwiches and pizza slices only - who knows?) Do they only write with chalk and tear paper, or are writing implements and scissors allowed?

    His punishment should be to write a few sentences (he is only 7, after all) about why rules are important for keeping everyone safe. And maybe, if there is a procedure in place, eat lunch with a teacher/silent lunch/etc. for a day or so. Just so he understands why it was a big deal.

    I think there are enough examples of Zero Tolerance gone wrong to justify the outrage here.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    Good for the school. You know, everyone has rules they have to follow. But, it's a choice to follow them or not. If you don't, you face consequences, just like this young man did. I know many will say that this is taking the rules "too far," and it's an unfortunate fact in today's times, that that is necessary.

    If someone's child had been hurt (cut or stabbed) by the utensils on this camping set, do you think they'd just shrug it off and say, "oh c'mon, it was a camping set, for goodness sake!" I don't think so. They'd be all over the school and the parents.
    BBM - I disagree. The school can't be bothered to take the time to review cases like this individually and that's the only reason this child is now in this mess. We're not talking about a hardened gang member or a child with a mental health/behavioral history (that we know of). Nor did he threaten anyone with it.

    The suspension and further removal from the school is proof positive that it's just too difficult for the school to sit the child down and discuss the problems they feel an item like this can cause. Take it away for the day and send it home letting him know he cannot return with it.

    His record is now forever tainted with this incident. All because he was proud to be a boyscout.

  15. #15
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    I agree that there be policies in place for potentially dangerous things brought to school. There needs to be flexibility in the punishment, however, common sense being used for each situation. This child is adorable and meant no harm. How do you think his perception of school is going to be after going through this?

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