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May 18, 2005

Zero tolerance for common sense

Dekalb County, Georgia:
Two seniors at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School will miss their baccalaureate -- but make their graduation -- after a stink that started over a cake knife.

Because of the school's zero tolerance policy on weapons, Ashley Pickens and Candace Grier, both honor students, were suspended from school for 10 days and told they would not be allowed to attend their baccalaureate ceremonies. The DeKalb school superintendent upheld that punishment but decided to allow the girls to walk with their classmates during graduation.

The trouble started when the girls brought a cake to school and looked for a knife to cut it. They say they found a butter-type knife in the school's band room and tried to return it, but the door had since been locked.

One of the girls put the knife in her book bag. Then a teacher saw it.

"He said it really didn't matter [that it was used for a cake]," Pickens said. "[He said] it's a knife on school grounds, and you have to be written up for it -- you ought to be glad we didn't have you arrested."
The article goes on, but you get the gist.


Ray said...

You would think that after countless reports of ridiculous "zero-tolerance" instances where students are punished for bringing aspirin or rubber bands to school, teachers and administrators would stop to consider how silly it looks to suspend an honor student with a butter knife THAT BELONGED TO THE SCHOOL! Don't they know these stories get out?

Apparently, I overestimate them.

The Uncooperative Blogger said...

I posted an article on my sight and just wanted to give you a hat tip.

Tim said...

Thanks, UB!

Jason Dollar said...

This is a good illustration of the trouble the legalism, in all its forms, can get a person into. When we suspend thought and common sense and replace them with a blind following of arbitrary rules, we need some serious help.