The good folks of Newark, Del. can sleep safely thanks to quick action by the Christiana school district’s board of education. The whole sordid affair was outlined in Monday’s New York Times.
It all started because six-year-old Zachary Christie was really excited about joining the Cub Scouts, and he was even more excited about the Cub Scout combination knife, fork and spoon he’d received as a gift. So he decided to take it to school and use it at lunchtime.
Whoa! Not so fast kid! Don’t you know that your school has a “zero tolerance” policy towards bringing not only weapons to school, but anything that could conceivably, possibly be used as a weapon as defined by the fetid brain of an educator.
“Zero tolerance” is a crutch used by anxious educators to reassure an anxious public. It’s a holdover from the nineteenth century belief that children are little savages who have to be tamed like wild animals. One factor feeding into its popularity with educators is that many of them boot out of the classroom as soon as they can because the children scare the shit out of them.
Zach’s enthusiasm got him busted. The imagination curdles when it thinks of the mayhem that could be caused by a rampaging six-year-old wielding a Cub Scout mess utensil.
The child was booted out of school and faces a hearing before the district’s disciplinary committee that could give him 45 days in the district’s reform school, something every six-year-old Cub Scout needs.
But, what the hell, a policy is a policy and the safest thing for an educator to do is to follow it to the letter. The greatest fear of any educator or bureaucrat is that they might be criticized for failing to follow policy.
A district spokesperson defended the decision by saying, “There’s 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.”
Hello! You can put a kid’s eye out with a pencil!
But wait, I must correct myself. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the Earl of Gloucester has his eyes gouged out with a spoon. So maybe the spoon was the culprit that worried the administration. Think of it—bloody eyeballs rolling around the lunchroom floor.
Is it possible that America is being dumbed down because some educators are among the dumbest fucks in the country?
If educators put as much effort into teaching children how to think as they do enforcing their zero tolerance policies, the country might not be in the shape it is.
Unfortunately, educators who can’t think cling to policy like a drowning man clings to a toothpick.