Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zero Tolerance, Zero Common Sense.

Last week a six year old boy in Delaware took one of his favorite possessions to school. It fell out of his pocket on the bus and a teacher asked for it. It was a boy scout camping tool, similar to what you see here. The reason the boy took it to school was to eat his lunch with it. Since it had a knife he immediately fell into the school systems zero tolerance policy. He was facing 45 days in what the school actually calls reform school. In my opinion, that is a very harsh punishment for a six year old. Had he been wearing a leather jacket with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth I would have agreed with them. However, this is a good student who occasionally likes wearing a suit and tie to school.

I do realize that schools have to be careful with what comes in. Yes, the tool has a knife. But since the boy was not a known troublemaker, what would have been wrong with simply keeping the tool and calling his mother to let her know? Blindly following a policy leads to this type of situation. Things should be addressed on a case by case situation. One size does not fit all. To give the school board credit, they acted immediately. The 45 days in reform school was canceled, and a new policy has been set for kindergartners and first graders. I applaud them for their approach to the problem. as for the little boy, he has learned a valuable lesson. He will always check with his mom before taking anything new to school.

1 comment:

Dana said...

Ha! What a coincidence! I did this same post today, with almost the same bend to it ... almost ...