This Zero-Tolerance crap has totally jumped the shark!
A fifth-grader in Cupertino, California was suspended and threatened with expulsion for bringing a small Swiss Army knife on a school-sponsored, science-oriented camping trip.
In early April, Braden Bandermann’s class set off on Garden Gate Elementary School’s annual, week-long pilgrimage for fifth-graders to the Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco.
Before leaving, Braden did what any Silicon Valley 10-year-old faced with the perils of nature might do: He packed his trusty Swiss Army knife. As any camper knows, the multi-tool device is nothing if not versatile. Braden’s particular model contains a can opener, tweezers, a toothpick, a nail file, a tiny pair of scissors and a small blade.
The little blade landed the boy in big trouble.
“They called me,” explained Tony Bandermann, Braden’s father. “They said, ‘You have to come and get him. He has a weapon. He needs to be suspended or possibly expelled.’”
At the time, the elder Bandermann was on a business trip in Sacramento, roughly 100 miles away. His wife, Braden’s stepmother, was at the camp with Braden, but they had arrived by bus and had no private transportation. (Braden’s mother was also unable to go to the camp so that he could serve a suspension.)
The school principal, Brandi Hucko, allegedly wanted Bandermann to rush to the site of the science camp, pick Braden up for a one-day suspension and then deliver him back to camp.
I went to a nature camp when I was a teen. One day I got a nasty splinter in the woods, and it was a Swiss Army knife owned by one of the Councillors that saved me from further agony. When you’re in the woods lots of little tools can be helpful. Oh god forbid some student have a KNIFE!
I think this could all be put to an end when ridiculous expulsions, suspensions, and punishments are responded to by having the responsible principal horse-whipped in the town square.
I can see having special school rules against “Weapons” and certainly rules against fighting, but seriously, I read too many stories about students suspended for pen knives, or butter knives, or even toy soldiers or drawings of guns.
A good horse-whipping will sort this out, methinks!