6 Year-Old BringsCub Scout Knife to School, Faces Reform School; Gun Battle Caught on Tape in Toledo

Crown Fit for School District or Legislature?

Crown Fit for School District or Legislature?

When I was a kid…probably 3rd or 4th grade…I thought it was so cool when I got a pocketknife for Christmas.  I dutifully took it to school every day because you never know when you might need a good pocketknife.  I even sharpened it to the point that it would cut paper.  Well, the truth is that there really wasn’t any time that you need a pocketknife at school.  So, it didn’t take long for me to stop taking it with me.  I took it on Boy Scout camping trips after I graduated from Cub Scouts and Webelos but never really had much use for it there either.  And when I did, I didn’t want to use it because I didn’t want to dull the super-sharp blade.  So, basically, it was useless to me.  But it was still cool to have.

The 6 year-old Criminal

The 6 year-old Criminal

That was then and this is now.  A kid in Delaware sounds like he was a lot like me.  He is only six but got a little Cub Scout pocketknife.  His was different than mine because he had eating utensils as part of his.  Like me, he wanted to take it to school but he wanted to use it.  So, he sat at lunch, apparently not bothering anyone, and opened it up to use to eat.  A 6-year-old doesn’t know about zero tolerance policies.  He only knows that his knife with the fork and spoon is cool.  But, Zachary Christie now faces 45 days in a reform school for violating the Christina School District’s zero-tolerance policy of kids bringing knives to school.  It would be on his record forever, I suppose.  Now, the state legislature is jumping into action with representatives introducing a bill that would amend Delaware’s zero tolerance law for school discipline. 

6 Year-Old's Weapon of Choice

6 Year-Old's Weapon of Choice

From this we are able to ascertain that it wasn’t necessarily the school district that had the rule, but instead it was a mandate from the state.  We heard a lot of people complaining about some of the federal efforts to combat terrorism after 911.  There was a hue and cry over the eavesdropping legislation that allowed investigators to listen to phone transmissions without a warrant.  Computers could pick out code words and then pick out calls to listen in on and do so before the call was completed, after which a smart bad guy might dispose of the cell phone and get another one to prevent future detection.  By the time you got a warrant, the caller was long gone.  But, I never heard of a single American whose rights of privacy was really violated.  Yet, after high profile situations like at Columbine, many states and school districts created rules such as this and there have been numerous cases like this in which a pretty benign situation became elevated to an equal  status as a kid who brought a weapon to school with malevolent intentions. The school board of this Houston Area School District approved of a girl’s suspension for having Advil in her backpack.   Yet, there has been no hue and cry.  Are laws like this on th books so that officials don’t have to make a decision?  Do we want blanket rules without giving adminsitrators the flexibility to actually make decisions?  Even if the amendment proposes passes, I’m not so sure that it would affect the kid retroactively unless the legislation specifically addresses Zachary’s particular sitution.  Why are we more sensative to issues related to national security that may create a situation civil rights situation but allow blind policies that do often affect kids adversely?

The Bar Could Have Used Festus Hagen

The Bar Could Have Used Festus Hagen

Meanwhile, there are those who want to ban handguns. As it stands, it’s already illegal for criminals to have a gun, yet the still do.  Criminals by definition do not obey the law.  So, it will be interesting to see if the men who decided to have a shootout at a Toledo, OH bar face charges that fit the crime or if they will get something less than the 45 day sentence imposed on young Zachary.  This video shows the suspects coming into the Route 66 Bar, starting a fight and then having a good old fashioned gun-battle.  These guys should be charged with something, if for no other reason that with so many shots fired in such close proximity…the shooters didn’t hit anthing that they were aiming at, namely anyone else.


6 Responses

  1. I can’t believe rulings these days. Anything can be considered a weapon these days. If a kid really wanted to hurt someone, all he has to do is use a pencil or a pen, or throw a textbook. Eating utensils are not the same as a weaponry/knife.

  2. This just shows how ridiculous our society has become. It was pretty evident that this child had no malicious intent. He was just eating his lunch with his new toy, for crying out loud! Instead of quietly dealing with this they had to go and make a big deal out of it. I mean someone with some common sense would have quietly walked over to the child and said something like, “Let me see that knife, Zach. Hey, you know you’re really not supposed to have this in school. Go get a fork from the nice lunch ladies and finish your lunch.” Then they could have called his parents and told them to come get the knife and not to let their son bring it to school any more. Chances are the parents didn’t know Zach had taken it with him. That would have solvent the problem and there would have been no media circus. Someone in that school didn’t have a lick of sense or they could have quietly dealt with this. Now, it’s a big fat mess. How about a little common sense and some diplomacy here!

    What about the weather?? It looks like we might be in for a cold winter. What are your thoughts?

  3. I’m wondering if the state legislation did not require them to do this…or…because of the legislation they feared that if there was another incident with someone else and they didn’t enforce the rule, then they would get fired. A problem with these mandatory rules and laws is that it takes away all responsibility from the adminsitrator or the judge. They allow no wiggle room and depends on the rule maker to have made wise rules in the first place that address every situation which is impossible. If the weather pattern is persistent, then we will have a cold winter. I think typically in an el nino year we are colder and drier than normal….but I wonder about colder and wetter. Regardless of what is supposed to happen, there is no question that hte long wave pattern is one of colder condition and I betcha that continues for at least the next few months.

  4. I almost put that in the thread. A better weapon might be a pencil or pen. Let them use coal on slate.


  6. I believe that the only thing the teacher could have done was say nothing and hope that no one else found out. It is entirely likely that the legislation that was on the books from the statehouse in conjunction with the school district policy did not allow for any descretion. That is an argument used by those who oppose mandatory sentencing guidelines in the courts as well as zero tolerance policies. On the other hand, these types of policies also make it so that teachers, school districts, administrators and judges do not have to make decisions.

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