Thursday, September 11, 2008

Policy Scores Another Against Common Sense.

This what happens when policy is unrestrained by common sense.

A 10 year old boy brings a weapon to class and his weapon is . . . a broken pencil sharpener.

He faces a two day suspension and perhaps further discipline.

Zero tolerance has reached an intolerable point.

"We're always going to do something to make sure the child understands the seriousness of having something that could potentially harm another student, but we're going to be reasonable," he said.

As your two day suspension demonstrates how reasonable you are.

Yes a broken pencil sharpener could potentially harm a child but it would take a moment of extreme stupidity for it to result in serious injury and such stupidity can result from anything.

When I was in school high school students were allowed to carry folding knives if the blade was no more than 2 1/2 inches long and they understood that severe penalties (including criminal charges) would result if you ever actually used or threatened to use one against another student; they were tools and not weapons. We never had an incident of a stabbing.

We also saw guns in cars in our parking lots (and never had one used against a student). You could even, under a strict protocol, take a gun into shop class and work on it. (You got permission from the principal who would have someone in authority watch you bring the gun, in a sealed gun bag, to the door, would take it from you, make sure it wasn't loaded, and would personally take it to the wood shop or metal shop and lock it up until your shop period.) We even had gun safety in school. We never had so much as a threat of gun violence.

In view of recent events I understand banning guns but not the banning of common sense regarding anything that might possibly be used as a weapon.

I'm expecting that any day now some nutcase will ban softball because kids might use the bat as a club. It is coming if it hasn't happened already.


Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

So what's next? A kid could potentially punch another student in the face will they require kids to wear bubble wrap over their hands so that can't happen?


I spit on Nanny State freaks!!!!

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I do believe that common sense evaporated a long time ago. What we were allowed to bring to school would shock today's educator. And we never did have an incident at school. Also, I feared my parents worse than my school principle.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Common sense has been legislated away in the name of "fairness". By having one size fits all 'zero tolerance' rules, administrators no longer have to use common sense. They go to the little chart that shows offense and punishment, toss a yellow flag, and send the kid home for the number of days the chart says.

The sad thing is, they don't see just how stupid and incompetent such rules make them look.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Pencils, pens and rulers can also be used as weapons, Shoprat. So can any type of key. This is getting beyond ridiculous... it's total insanity! :(

9:29 AM  
Blogger benning said...

My High School was so large we had our own Cross-Country course on the grounds. We were cheek-by-jowl with farmlands. My 10th-grade biology teacher took the class out on the course one morning to the school's firing range (yep! we had a small firing range!) took out his very own Colt .45 revolver, and had each of us shoot it.

Don't remember why, but the whole class fired a pistol on campus. This was 1970, by the way. Nobody died, nobody was wounded, nobody got the 'vapors'.

We 10th-graders were civilized, I guess. And sensible.

4:31 PM  
Blogger benning said...

BTW: This was Pennsylvania, 45 minutes from Philly. Langhorne.

Pretty place 38 years ago.

4:32 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Jenn Don't give em any ideas.

tim yup

cp that's how it works.

gayle see reply to Jenn

Benning Times have changed and not for the better.

6:15 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Such idiocy has been going on for quite some time. Try googling "dumb laws"

I remember a school that had banned paper sacks, because of some kid who almost suffocated himself.

Scissors are not allowed in some schools.

And you're right that anything can be used as a weapon in the hands of someone with the mindset to commit violence. Boxcutters on board a plane aren't needed. There are improvised weapons all around you.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I think crazy politico said it best, and this idiocy is not limited to school administrators. The child welfare system is also riddled with people who have no common sense.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Back in the days when I was teaching elementary school, oh so long ago, one student stabbed another in the neck with a sharpened pencil. We didn't call the police. The matter was handled by a school administrator and the parent.

The education system has gone too far with this zero-tolerance nonsense. One of the negative outcomes has been losing the respect of the students. I've actually heard this expressed by some of my private students.

The way the fourth grader in this posting was treated in abominable. He's in a gifted school and likely one with nearly no discipline issues.

Back when I was in school, in the Dinosaur Age, every student carried a pocket knife. We played with them on the playground. Not a single student ever brandished his or her knife at another student -- not even the few discipline problems we had on campus. Yes, a few fist fights broke out, but nobody ever pulled a knife on anyone else.

Once, for a speech, one of the high schoolers brought in his new hunting rifle. Of course, the weapon wasn't loaded, nor did the student have any cartridges with him.

All this blabbing on my part to proclaim that I'm glad I don't work for a school or a school system any more. I couldn't stand the legalism and the lack of common sense!

10:12 AM  

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