Well, well, the Deleware school board that was threatening a six-year-old Cub Scout with reform school for bringing a Cub Scout eating utensil that included a knife to school has backed off.
Did they apologize? Hell no! Instead of expelling him, he’s only suspended for five days.
At a meeting last night the board changed its policy to mandate suspensions instead of expulsion for kindergartners and first-graders who show up armed to the teeth.
After all, a policy is a policy no matter how ineptly it’s applied. If it could have been used as a weapon, it’s a weapon and the knife in Zachary’s Cub Scout tool was metallic and sharp. (Of course the compasses children use to draw circles and arcs are also metallic and sharp. So maybe…)
Not that everyone was happy with the decision. Jenifer Jankowski, a special education supervisor in a Newark, NJ elementary school thought the kid should have been expelled. “If we can’t punish him, then what about kids that did bring [a weapon] for bad things?” she asked.
There we see an administrator’s mind at work. It’s the old “what if” syndrome that never fails to cripple the intellect. In the wake of this syndrome policy plods on as it sheds its capacity for nuance and compassion.
Hell, a kid’s teeth can be a weapon, as I found out when I taught special education. I still carry a scar on my chest where a kid sank his teeth into me. Face it, our schools will never be safe until we force our children to gum their lunches.
At least Zach will only have a suspension to blot his hitherto unblemished weapon. The important thing is that parents have been warned: the next time you send you send a cake to school to celebrate your child's birthday, tell the teacher to cut it with her fingernails.
Shit! They’re sharp too!