Zero Tolerance Stupidity 1,345,802
Zero tolerance policies sound good on first hearing them. Parents, employees, etc. are reassured that something is being done and that the unthinkable can’t happen. Then you read a story like this.
A 10-year-old Hilton Head Island boy has been suspended from school for having something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener.
The problem was his sharpener had broken, but he decided to use it anyway.
A teacher at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School noticed the boy had what appeared to be a small razor blade during class on Tuesday, according to a Beaufort County sheriff’s report.
It was obvious that the blade was the metal insert commonly found in a child’s small, plastic pencil sharpener, the deputy noted.
The boy — a fourth-grader described as a well-behaved and good student — cried during the meeting with his mom, the deputy and the school’s assistant principal.
He had no criminal intent in having the blade at school, the sheriff’s report stated, but was suspended for at least two days and could face further disciplinary action.
District spokesman Randy Wall said school administrators are stuck in the precarious position between the district’s zero tolerance policy against having weapons at school and common sense.
This policy is stupid in that a sliver of metal is probably far less lethal a weapon and a pencil or pen. The idea of preventing weapons on a school campus with young children is a laudible goal, but when you end up punishing a sudent for a silly mistake it is counter productive. The school district looks like a bunch of blithering morons and could undermine their authority (I’m sure the child has heard an earful from mom and dad about what a bunch of blithering morons the school officials are right on down to the teacher), undermine their credibility with the public, make them look incompetent and waste time on what amounts to literally a non-issue for the school, the parents and law enforcement.
“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.
I’m sorry but this man is just amazingly stupid. The reasonable thing is to say, “Have your mom buy another pencil sharpener, and throw that one out.” Maybe having a meeting with the parents and the child and pointing out the concern. But for crying out loud a sliver of sharpened metal is nowhere near as deadly as a pencil, pen, a shod foot, a hard bound book, a chair, or a belt with a metal buckle. Hell, I bet a paper cut would be worse.
Being this stupid needs to hurt.