It’s a Fork, It’s a Spoon, It’s a ... Weapon?
by Mustafah Abdulaziz for The New York Times
Published: October 11, 2009
NEWARK, Del. — Finding character witnesses when you are 6 years old is not easy. But there was Zachary Christie last week at a school disciplinary committee hearing with his karate instructor and his mother’s fiancé by his side to vouch for him.
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 now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.
“It just seems unfair,” Zachary said, pausing as he practiced writing lower-case letters with his mother, who is home-schooling him while the family tries to overturn his punishment.
What she needs to do is continue to home school Zachary if at all possible.
Continuing on with the story...
“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. He defended the decision, but added that the board might adjust the rules when it comes to younger children like Zachary.
Yes, Mr. Evans is absolutely qualified to be president of a school board. What he is clearly not qualified to do is comment on security measures in a school setting or he would know that students are provided with something called a pencil and that a common #2 Ticonderoga pencil can indeed put eyes out as well as puncture lethal targets in the neck. So, you see, this is all just feel-good symbolism over substance, it's purely symbolic.
Continuing on with the story again...
The law was introduced after a third-grade girl was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it. The teacher called the principal — but not before using the knife to cut and serve the cake.
Can you imagine?
For Zachary, it is not school violence that has left him reluctant to return to classes.
“I just think the other kids may tease me for being in trouble,” he said, pausing before adding, “but I think the rules are what is wrong, not me.”
And good for you young man! You're not a sheep and that is a rare thing in this world now.
The full story can be read here and this post has been heavily edited to keep everything fair and legal.
Please go read the full story and please visit Zachary's website you can find here.
Don't write nasty E-mails to school officials, keep it polite and professional, more bees with honey than vinegar and all of that sort of thing.