Boy suspended for broken pencil sharpener

This is a horrible and heartbreaking situation. What is being done to this good boy is really horrible.

Island fourth grader suspended for using broken pencil sharpener
Published Thursday, September 11, 2008

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.

"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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

One would think that educators would abandon a policy if they are aware and publicly state that it is offensive to reason.

9/12/2008 3:26 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I think it's more like they are stuck between a ridiculous policy and a total lack of common sense.

What do they think they are teaching a kid by kicking him out of school for a couple of days because he was trying to improvise and continue to use a broken pencil sharpener?

9/12/2008 4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless the district's policy explicitly classifies broken pencil sharpeners (or any pencil sharpener using a blade rather than a grinder) as per se weapons, then the administrators were not stuck. They had to use their own judgment to decide that the pencil sharpener constituted a weapon. As with so many other cases, this is not so much about so-called zero tolerance policies as it is with cowardly administrators hiding behind such policies in an attempt to justify their own fears and prejudices.

9/12/2008 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem comes from the fact that the victim accepts the presumption that a tool constitutes a weapon.

Granting them the mere recognition that their words are anything but ridiculous is what gives them leverage.

In these cases, the sanction is always from the victim, by seeking acknowledgment that the object X "is" a weapon.

NEVER acknowledge that it is a weapon, always poit out that it is THEIR opinion that such an object is a weapon. Do not pronounce the word weapon, just answer by "so say you" or similar non-answers.

The criminal justice system requires the victim to admit that the nature of what he is charged with is a crime.

It functions by assumpsit, by presumption. Presumption is accepted by default in roman law courts, unless explicitely refuted.

The fact that an object has a blade is BS.

Hands can be used as a blade, as a weapon, hands can kill. So can a pencil, a shoelace, a jumping rope, a chair, a door, a baseball bat, a baseball, a ruler, and a few dozens more commonplace objects in any classroom.

9/12/2008 11:55 AM  
Blogger Trent England said...

Unfortunately, there have been a number of these incidents. Administrators hang their heads and pretend they're stuck, but they love "Zero Tolerance" because it gives them something else to blame. There are more of these at www.overcriminalized.com.

9/12/2008 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if he put the blade back in the sharpener, was it still a "weapon"?

Did the sharpeners belonging to all the other students include concealed weapons?!!!

Expel them all! And the teachers who bring the lunches in brown bags because bags can be wadded up and used to choke people to death. And don't get me started on the uses of cellophane!

These administrators and the district parents who put up with this UTTER NONSENSE are fools.

9/12/2008 2:38 PM  

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