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School Suspends 1st Grader Under Zero Tolerance Policy

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 1:45 PM
  • 37 Replies

 

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Student Suspended Over Camping Tool

AOL News
posted: 1 HOUR 19 MINUTES AGO
comments: 742
filed under: National News
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(Oct. 12) -- Zachary Christie, 6, was happy about joining the Cub Scouts and was excited about a new camping utensil that functions as a spoon, fork and knife -- so excited that he took the tool to school to use it at lunch.
 
But the Newark, Del., boy's enthusiasm got him kicked out of school for violating a zero-tolerance policy on weapons, The New York Times reported.
Zachary Christie with his mother, Debbie, and father, Curtis.
Mustafah Abdulaziz, The New York Times / Redux

Zachary Christie, 6, unfolds the combination knife, fork and spoon that led to his suspension from school. He now faces 45 days in reform school. Standing with him are his mother, Debbie, and his father, Curtis.

The first-grader faces 45 days in reform school after officials determined the camping utensil violated the Christina School District's ban on knives. His mother is home-schooling him while his family appeals the punishment.
 
"It just seems unfair," Zachary told The Times. Debbie Christie has started a Web site, helpzachary.com, to draw attention to her son's situation.
 
Some people say school officials should be able to exercise discretion in such cases, but others argue that zero-tolerance policies are necessary to prevent discrimination. Delaware lawmakers gave school officials more flexibility on weapons last year after a third-grader was kicked out of school for a year because her grandmother sent her to class with a birthday cake and a knife to cut it. But the change dealt only with expulsions, not suspensions like Zachary's.
 
"We didn't want our son becoming the poster child for this, but this is out of control," Debbie Christie told The Times.
 
The Christina school board president defended Zachary's suspension but said the rules may need to be changed for younger children.
Read the full story in The Times.
 
On top of wondering if you think the suspension is fair due to the school's policy, do you agree with the school's policy? Do you tend to favor zero tolerance policies?
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 1:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
cmb121906
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I think zero tolerance should be in affect for weapons. It sucks he was suspended, but he brought a knife to school. Like the article said, they should be able to use their judgement in a case, but then that wouldn't be fair and could lead to problems for them. There have been kids just a tad older than him that have tried doing bad things in school with weapons. You just never know these days.

 




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sillyone
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I don't think this little boy should be suspended form school. He doesn't understand why he couldn't bring that to school. I also think the zero tolerance policy is BS, because if they really uphold it they wouldn't allow pencils or anything else in the school that can cause harm. My son was held down by one boy in 7th grade and stabbed 22 times with a a pencil. They did nothing about it, I was told because it was a pencil not knife. I fought it for almost 3 wks and he finally got suspended. I had to take my son to the docs for them to remove fragments from the pencil that was in his skin.

behappilyever
by Bronze Member on Oct. 12, 2009 at 1:57 PM

omg that is horrible! i'm so sorry!

Quoting sillyone:

I don't think this little boy should be suspended form school. He doesn't understand why he couldn't bring that to school. I also think the zero tolerance policy is BS, because if they really uphold it they wouldn't allow pencils or anything else in the school that can cause harm. My son was held down by one boy in 7th grade and stapped 22 times with a a pencil. They did nothing about it, I was told because it was a pencil not knife. I fought it for almost 3 wks and he finally got suspended. I had to take my son to the docs for them to remove fragments from the pencil that was in his skin.


Terasasmom
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 2:02 PM

wow that is just awful.  I cant believe they wouldnt do anything about it!   And if some kid had seen it and punched the little punk they would have been the one to get in trouble because of the stupid zero tollerance thing. 

I think there is no reason to have that boy have to be suspended. 

Quoting sillyone:

I don't think this little boy should be suspended form school. He doesn't understand why he couldn't bring that to school. I also think the zero tolerance policy is BS, because if they really uphold it they wouldn't allow pencils or anything else in the school that can cause harm. My son was held down by one boy in 7th grade and stabbed 22 times with a a pencil. They did nothing about it, I was told because it was a pencil not knife. I fought it for almost 3 wks and he finally got suspended. I had to take my son to the docs for them to remove fragments from the pencil that was in his skin.


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stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I think zero tolerance is ridiculous and often times taken to the extreme.

Stefanie1085
by Silver Member on Oct. 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM


Quoting stormcris:

I think zero tolerance is ridiculous and often times taken to the extreme.


I agree. I think this is a little much. Confiscate it, give it to mom or dad and explain that it is not allowed in school.

On an aside, though, this is just the beginning. My sister is in sixth grade and a little boy shut down school because he told everyone he had a gun in his backpack. Turns out he didn't, unless he hid it somewhere, but still! A 12 year old boy!

 

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot. ~Thomas Paine

rwklk
by Member on Oct. 12, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I see nothing wrong with zero tolerance on this, If the rules state NO knives then why is it ok for some students to ignore it just because they weren't going to use it to hurt someone? Also why is it a good thing to teach our kids that they can ignore the rules they don't like? And just because that student wasn't planning on doing anything bad with it doesn't mean a bad kid wouldn't steal it & do something bad?




la_bella_vita
by Bella on Oct. 12, 2009 at 3:30 PM


Quoting stormcris:

I think zero tolerance is ridiculous and often times taken to the extreme.


I agree

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teddysmom08
by Member on Oct. 12, 2009 at 4:06 PM

I think it's totally fair.  If they bend the policy for him, they should bend it for everyone.

mads_mom
by Member on Oct. 12, 2009 at 4:06 PM

when i was in elementary school, a kid i knew got suspended for having a plastic knife packed in his lunch. zero tolerance is zero tolerance, if one kid gets let off for it, others are going to expect the same, then it would be sometimes tolerance, and that's not fair. it's sucks he got suspended, but he broke a rule, unknowingly or not.

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