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5th grader suspended at nature camp for Swiss Army knife

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. May 10, 2013 #81 of 110
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    What do these stories have to do with this incident? Nothing.
     
  2. May 10, 2013 #82 of 110
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Agreed. Examples of obvious too-far-silliness don't change whether or not a knife should be allowed or a kid punished for having one.
     
  3. May 11, 2013 #83 of 110
    BattleScott

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    So you agree that a student bringing a multi-function knife suitable for camping purposes on a camping trip is the same level of offense as a student concealing a switchblade knife in their pocket during the normal school day and that both offenses should be treated equally?
     
  4. May 11, 2013 #84 of 110
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    There is a good example of taking a statement out of context and setting up a straw argument. That is NOT what Stewart said. That sort of statement would be made by a person rigidly supporting "zero-tolerance" ... not Stewart.

    It is like saying that someone who supports giving Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty agrees with Hitler that some people do not deserve to live. :sure:
     
  5. May 11, 2013 #85 of 110
    BattleScott

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    Sorry, his post #79 made it seem like he was more inclined to support the No Tolerance policy in this case. I was just trying to get some clarity, I shoud have multi-quoted.
     
  6. May 11, 2013 #86 of 110
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    #79 wasn't Stewart's post ... it was trh's ...
    Stewart's was #80 ...
    Some punishment for breaking the rule ... with punishment taking intent into account. We seem to be on the same page here of having SOME tolerance for this child's behavior (we being trh, Stewart and myself - and probably others). Neither Stewart or trh are pushing a "zero-tolerance" agenda.
     
  7. May 11, 2013 #87 of 110
    Stewart Vernon

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    Yeah, I'm generally against zero tolerance. I'm not for treating this particular 5th grader like a terrorist... but I can't justify giving him a free pass either. Do we know what he was doing with the knife? How did the adults know he had brought a knife? Did they search him? Did he tell them? Was he doing something inappropriate with the knife and that's when they caught him?

    IF it was as simple as him having the knife and no other offense... and if he was not a habitual rule-breaker... then I would be in favor of confiscating the knife and having a meeting with the parents after the school outing was over... let the kid stay and participate.

    But... was this a kid who breaks other rules? Was he doing something else with the knife that caught their attention? IF so, then I could be persuaded that the harsher punishment might make sense after all.

    When arguing against zero-tolerance, and making the case that individual instances should allow flexibility... we have to consider that there might have been mitigating circumstances.
     
  8. May 11, 2013 #88 of 110
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    So, taking a knife on an outing to the Metropolitan Museum would bear a greater punishment than taking one on a camping trip, no?
     
  9. May 12, 2013 #89 of 110
    James Long

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    See above.

    It makes more sense to take a multi-function utility tool with a knife blade while camping but I see no reason to write an absolute rule demanding punishment without taking into account why the hypothetical child had the hypothetical knife on a trip to a museum.
     
  10. May 12, 2013 #90 of 110
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I do find it interesting that in a discussion about zero tolerance being a bad idea, we have some who seem to be against zero tolerance trying to make their case by actually encouraging more zero tolerance. Or is it just me seeing that in some of the examples?
     
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  11. May 12, 2013 #91 of 110
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Could you point some out?
     
  12. May 15, 2013 #92 of 110
    phrelin

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    IMHO Zero Tolerance policies say two things about us: (1) We waste millions of dollars on administrators who we believe have no judgement and (2) we are a weirdly fearful society.
     
  13. May 15, 2013 #93 of 110
    Nick

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    I think it's going to get worse before it gets better, and it may not ever get better as long as mindless drones are running our school systems. Let's wrap our kids in foam rubber surrounded by stainless steel pots and pans. Oh no, a pot can be dangerous. Better have kids stay home and telecommute to school.

    I don't care what the "primary purpose" of a sharpened pencil is, it can still be used as a weapon.

    :cool:
     
  14. May 15, 2013 #94 of 110
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    So can foam! :bang

    Looking back at my childhood, my parents would probably be visited by Family Services.... we kids were left alone, played together unsupervised, from baseball to cowboys to kick the can, just had to be home by dark. And call if we fetched up at a friend's house. Yikes! How did we survive??
     
  15. May 15, 2013 #95 of 110
    Stewart Vernon

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    Some forget that a lot of these "zero tolerance" rules are the result of other parents complaining and suing schools when stuff happens... so in order to guard against such lawsuits, the "safest" thing the schools can do is go zero tolerance to avoid any lawsuits in the future.

    Your kid brings a knife... nothing happens... everything is ok... the next kid brings a knife and someone gets hurt... the school then has to deal not only with that incident BUT the fact that they previously let someone else get away with having a knife because nothing happened. Litigious people will say that their "lax enforcement" resulted in an "environment that condones" bringing the knives... and so forth.

    It's like the rules against celebrations in the NFL... They are stupid rules, that you can't celebrate "too much" after scoring... but the problem was, too many people kept starting fights after the other team scored and celebrated... and because people couldn't control themselves... the NFL had to make "zero tolerance" rules against celebrations so that they were pre-empting the fights...

    So... schools end up with "zero tolerance" for knives or drugs because people will game the system, look for loopholes, and other people will sue at the drop of a hat over the idea of a knife or whatever... and the school ends up having to think about that all day instead of trying to teach the kids.

    Again, I'm not a fan of zero tolerance... but I completely understand how we get there... people scream "personal responsibility" until they are the ones in the wrong, then they try and pass the blame to others... IF we actually had personal responsibility, then zero tolerance wouldn't be necessary.
     
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  16. May 16, 2013 #96 of 110
    dpeters11

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    The charges against the aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner student have been dropped.
     
  17. May 16, 2013 #97 of 110
    Beerstalker

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    My wife works in a school and this is exactly correct. You make an exception for one student, and then the next student expects the same exception no matter if the situation is the same or not. There still is some leeway, but it not nearly like there used to be.

    Personally I think the school did ok here in the long run. Yes, initially I think their knee jerk reaction of wanting to send the student home immediately was a bit much. However, this was probably a teacher or chaperone making that initial decision, and they don't have much choice in the matter they have to follow the rules that are set for them. Then I'm guessing the Principal/Superintendant/etc. finally got involved and came back with a more level headed punishment of letting the child stay at the retreat, but keeping him seperate and not allowing him to take part in activities for a day is a fitting punishment.
     
  18. May 31, 2013 #98 of 110
    BattleScott

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  19. May 31, 2013 #99 of 110
    dpeters11

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    Questioning a five year old for two hours?
     
  20. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Maybe the "interrogation" was too much... I can't say. But cap guns go make a loud noise... a young kid's ears could be damaged if such a gun was shot in an enclosed space (like a bus) or close to his ear... and besides that, I'm assuming this is a rule at the school of some sort against having probably toys in general that aren't permitted.

    Again, it is possible the punishment didn't fit the crime... but I hope we aren't on another path of "there was no crime"... I can debate if the school responded too strongly... but I can't debate whether they should have responded. Even the kid's parents (per the article) agreed there should have been consequences.
     

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