A Delaware first-grader who was facing 45 days in an alternative school as punishment for taking his favorite camping utensil to school can return to class after the school board made a hasty change granting him a reprieve.Is it just me or do you sense another opportunity for Barack Obama to lecture students here? Granted, maybe he can go to Chicago and do that considering the kids are killing each other there.
The seven-member Christina School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce the punishment for kindergartners and first-graders who take weapons to school or commit violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.
Zachary Christie, 6, had faced 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers after he took the utensil — a combination folding knife, fork and spoon — to school to eat lunch last month. Now, he could return Wednesday.
"I want to get him back as soon as possible. I want to put this behind him as soon as possible," said Debbie Christie, Zachary's mother. "But I also want him to know that he has a voice, and when things are not right, he can stand up and speak out against them."
A spokeswoman for the school district said more changes to the school system's code of conduct were possible in the coming months.
The punishment given to Zachary was one of several in recent years that have prompted national debate on whether schools have gone too far with zero-tolerance policies.
It was not the first such case in the Christina School District, Delaware's largest with more than 17,000 students, which includes parts of the city of Wilmington and its suburbs. Last year, a fifth-grade girl was ordered expelled after she brought a birthday cake to school and a serrated knife to cut it with.
The expulsion was overturned, and it led to a state law that gave districts more flexibility on punishments. But that law applied only to conduct that triggers expulsions, not suspensions.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Zach the Knife Granted a Reprieve
Our long national nightmare is over. This little gangster has been granted a reprieve from his Delaware school district's zero
tolerance intelligence policy and is being allowed to return to school today. It's been deemed he no longer poses a threat to national security or the other little kids in his class.