Zachary Christie was thrown out of school last week for bringing a weapon to school. Zachary is six years old, joined the Tiger Cub Scouts and was so excited he brought his Cub Scout utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon all in one to use in the cafeteria. He faces 12 weeks in reform school because of the zero tolerance policy his school has in place for bringing weapons to school.
Zachary is feeling a little confused, and frankly so am I.
He’s in good company, that Zachary. A third grade girl was expelled from school for one year because her grandmother sent her to school with a birthday cake and a knife to cut it. She is being home schooled by her mother until she can come back to school. Nice birthday present.
These are two of many cases that seem to be out there.
I have two words. Common Sense. Have we lost all sensibility? Do I get the danger, danger, danger in today’s schools? Of course I do. My daughter attends law school in Cambridge MA where the crime is high and the law library sends her home late at night. I think about it all the time. But common sense must prevail. This is lunacy and we have got to get it together now or the poor Zacharys of the world will never know what hit them. You can go to Zachary’s Website and send an email of support. Who knows if it will help.
It reminds me of a story. A very famous man in publishing, Jason Epstein, told me this story. He is the editor for writers like Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal. In other words, he’s no slouch of a brain. He loves to cook and entertain. He was on his way to Random House one morning, in the dead of morning’s light on Third Avenue with lots of people around. He was heading to the building’s doorway when a bunch of hoodlum types surrounded him and asked him for his watch. Ok, they demanded he give them his watch. He reached in his pocket where he had a dessert fork that he was bringing to a silversmith to have some copies made. As he said, he ‘brandished’ that dessert fork in a circle around the six or so thugs warding them off. Not so much. They cut him with the fork, took the fork, his wallet and his watch. He realized later the absurdity of his approach. Give the guys the watch idiot. Assess the situation. Six guys and you with a dessert fork. Give up the watch.
A six-year-old with a Boy Scout eating utensil. Put him back in school.
Whether it’s warding off thugs with a dessert fork or thinking that a six-year-old Cub Scout’s eating utensil is a weapon calls for evaluation by those who can ascertain the danger value. I, for one, want common sense in government and crime control. I want the individual incident evaluated with common sense. And, I want Zachary back in school where he belongs. Thank God my daughter was never a Brownie. Imagine what she could have done with a needle and thread in school.