The recent happenings in regards to “zero tolerance” and kids with Boy Scout equipment reminded me of one of the more stupid things I had to endure with a elementary school principal who shouldn’t have had a job that required thought.
My son was really into robots and took things from around the house to make them. He found an old casing from a car lighter and used it to make a robot, making the body section from it. Mind you, this was just the casing – a metal cylinder.
I get a call from the principal asking if I knew that my son, a happy-go-lucky fourth grader, had brought a weapon to school. My heart started to race. Then I realized who I was dealing with and started asking questions.
It mattered not to her that this was totally unable to light anything as there was no innards and it was not attached to a car. It was an “incendiary device” and most definitely a weapon. When I begged to differ, I was shutdown, rudely. I told her she could throw it out and my son would keep his robots at home.
Then I wondered why she didn’t mention taking it to a higher level at the school if this really was considered a weapon, so I did. She assured me that wasn’t necessary. I insisted as I knew the Superintendent and felt pretty confident that this would get dropped and considered a waste of time (as that person did have common sense). She must have agreed as she became suddenly nicer, downright sweet and understanding.
Meanwhile, the kid, with a rap sheet a mile long, playing with bullets and using a pen like a knife stabbing people on the bus, got a pass. Silly me. A pen is a writing utensil, not a weapon! When my friend was getting his information systems management degree, he used pens for writing only, which means everyone else must do the same!
I support a zero tolerance policy for those who forget to use common sense.
“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.” ~ Robert Green Ingersoll