6-Year-Old Suspended for Knife Gets to Go Back to School

Cynthia Dermody

Swiss Army KnifeIt's stories like this that make me wish I could home-school.

By now you've heard about the first-grader who was suspended for 45 days for bringing a fork to school.

It all turned out okay. The public school educators reconsidered and will allow the kid to come back to school next week. But this whole mess could have so been avoided if school officials just used some of those critical thinking skills they feel are so important to teach our kids.

It was a Swiss Army Knife for goodness sakes. I'm all for zero tolerance policies in the proper context -- a kid who knowingly violates the policy, who intends to threaten or do harm. Yes, anything to prevent another Columbine. None of those cases apply here.

This sweet little boy was excited to join the Cub Scouts and wanted to bring in his Swiss Army gadget to eat his lunch with. That's it. His mom should have been more on top of things, but oh well.

Sure, the knife could have hurt someone. So could the scissors that the little kids use to cut out art, or the rocks in the science room, or the legs of a chair. Anything can be used as a weapon if you want it to be. My 6 year old's cranium is the fiercest weapon I know. Thank goodness his head-butting phase was short-lived.

Moms were talking about the outrageousness of the suspended Cub Scout all over CafeMom. Some feel punishment is still necessary to send a message, but say a month and a half in reform school is just ludicrous. Talk about potential harm -- just imagine what type of emotional and mental damage that will do to this otherwise good, well-behaved child.


In your view, is a week's suspension from school adequate punishment for a young child who unknowingly brought a banned object to school?


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