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Old April 8, 2002, 05:45 PM   #1
Monkeyleg
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More zero tolerance: onions and steak knives

Weapons policy angers parents

Sixth-grader suspended after taking knife to school for science project

By Associated Press

Last Updated: April 5, 2002

Madison - The parents of a sixth-grader suspended after taking a serrated table knife to class to dissect an onion contend school district officials have taken their zero-tolerance weapons policy to an extreme.

"Does 'no tolerance' also mean no common sense?" asked Larry Jorgenson, father of Christian Schmidt, 12, a student at Cherokee Middle School.

District officials say they are prohibited from discussing the case because student records are confidential. But they strongly defend the district's zero-tolerance policy.

"Why a student brings a weapon to school and under what conditions really can't impact our decision," Assistant Superintendent Valencia Douglas said.

Even if a knife is brought to school for the most benign reason, it could fall into the wrong hands, she said.

Christian said he brought the knife to school March 11 for a presentation he and some of his science classmates were doing on onions. He said he wanted to cut apart the onion to show its many layers and how it smelled.

Christian has been suspended since March 12, his father said.

The family said administrators told them in a letter that they will recommend a one-year expulsion for "possession of a dangerous weapon."

But Jorgenson said the family has been told unofficially by the district that, if Christian admits that he committed a "crime," submits to a psychological evaluation and completes an anger management course, he would be eligible to return to school this year.

The family has asked that a hearing on the matter Monday be open to the public.


Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on April 6, 2002.
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Old April 8, 2002, 05:46 PM   #2
spacemanspiff
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two words

home school
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Old April 8, 2002, 05:51 PM   #3
Brian Gibbons
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I think this 'zero tolerance' policy makes good sense. We need to look at the big picture. I think all the fuss is worth it. Even if it were only to save just one onion ...
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Old April 8, 2002, 05:54 PM   #4
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spaceman is only half-right. The real answer is two words: school vouchers. Only when school boards are directly accountable to their clients, i.e., the parents, will you see this kind of garbage go away, along with many of the brain-dead automatrons in school admin.
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Old April 8, 2002, 05:54 PM   #5
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A bit off topic, but:
Quote:
the family has been told unofficially by the district that, if Christian admits that he committed a "crime,"
Do not do this!
No matter how much you are pressured, no matter how many assurances you get that the consequences will be benign, no matter that someone confession seems to be a mere formality, no matter what: you cannot be compelled to admit to any crime and I strongly suggest that you never do so.
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Old April 8, 2002, 06:00 PM   #6
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Suidae comestibles.

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Old April 8, 2002, 06:03 PM   #7
spacemanspiff
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parents have handed over nearly full control of their children to the education system. they force their own ideals, prejudices, and dogma onto them and attempt to turn the kids against their parents.

remember the good old days, where we as kids were learning our lessons from our mistakes, getting our butts whipped by our parents for every infraction? remember when 'evolution' was a theory and science textbooks admitted to the numerous holes in the fossil record? remember when the majority of parents took an active interest and included their children in their everyday activiites?

i believe the problem is with the kids. they are convinced they have 'rights' and they 'deserve' to be treated like kings and queens.
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Old April 8, 2002, 07:45 PM   #8
Don Gwinn
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Many are and many do, but. . . the kid brought a knife to school with which to slice the onion in his science project, the school wants him to admit that he's a criminal and go through anger-management classes (was he angry?)--and you think the problem is that the kid thinks he has rights?
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Old April 8, 2002, 08:50 PM   #9
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There is one reason and one reason only why zero tolerence is enforced.....PC, political correctness. No, it's not neccesarily politically correct by itself, rather it's a by product. You see, if you have a kid in school who is one of the real "bad" kids and he has a knife you kick him out. Now if a science geek brought a knife to school for a school project, or he forgot it in his backpack or what ever, you probably don't kick him out as he carried his by mistake or for class. Now the parents of the "Bad" kid complain that their dear little criminal was "picked on". Now days this is a "bad thing", we must treat everyone absolutly equal in all ways. Never mind that it makes no sense, it is "fair". Political correctness is a dangerous thing, it tells you to ignore things that you know are true. Do we all really want to be equal? If you're at a job interview do you want to be equal with everyone there? If in a fight do you want to be equal with your opponent? If a man is 6'6" 275 lbs and you are 5'9" and 155 lbs PC says you are "equal". Wanna take him on? No thanks to PC you can not use anything that is not concrete, physically touchable, scientificly replicalble to enforce school policy. No, that would be unfair. Ask any set of school teachers who the dangerous kids are, they can tell you. Never mind that though, it's not fair, not PC. And we wonder why we're in the mess we're in.
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Old April 8, 2002, 09:37 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
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I'm still wondering when schools are finally going to suspend indefinitely every student for carrying deadly stabbing weapons...

Pencils -- the choice of the new student gang member.
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Old April 8, 2002, 10:11 PM   #11
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I noticed the phrase "it could fall into the wrong hands" in the story . If their are a pair of "wrong hands" in the school they will bring their own knife in .
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Old April 8, 2002, 10:18 PM   #12
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Won't somebody please think of the onions!
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Old April 8, 2002, 10:37 PM   #13
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There are going to be some rich lawyers getting richer.:barf:
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Old April 8, 2002, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
"Does 'no tolerance' also mean no common sense?"
No... thats not the point of Zero Tolerance.

Zero tolerance is not about protecting children at school it's about turning innocents into criminals so they may be controlled through force.

The "Drug War" is not about protecting society from drugs it's about turning innocents into criminals so they may be controlled through force.

Gun control is not about protecting society from gun violence it's about turning innocents into criminals so they may be controlled through force.

The "War on Terror" is not about protecting society from terrorists it's about turning innocents into criminals so they may be controlled through force.

"Hate crime" laws are not about protecting minorities from racist violence it's about turning innocents into criminals so they may be controlled through force.

This it the 3rd time today I've had cause to envoke the words of Ms. Rand...

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
--Ayn Rand from Atlas Shrugged
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Old April 9, 2002, 12:05 AM   #15
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The kid had his hearing today, and he won't be suspended. He's an "A" student, above reproach. I think the negative press got the Madison (read: Berkeley of the Midwest) schoolboard to rethink their position.
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Old April 9, 2002, 12:21 AM   #16
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I think that people should learn to love plants, not eat them.
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Old April 9, 2002, 12:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Even if a brain is brought to school for the most benign reason, it could fall into the wrong head, she said.
What's the hardest part about eating a vegatable?


Getting it out of the wheelchair...

Sound like our education system needs a good BBQ'ing.

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Old April 9, 2002, 07:31 AM   #18
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Two words. Broken teeth. Parents need to convince the administrators that there will be absolutely no stupidity policy.

Oh yes the student did commit a crime. He actually thought the teachers were there to teach him worthwhile things. Instead he learns terrorism first hand.
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Old April 9, 2002, 09:31 AM   #19
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this reminds

Me of the current policies in the airports...they'll take away a nail-clipper from the pilot who, of course, doesn't need the nail-clipper to hi-jack or crash the plane.....or worse yet, take away a passenger's nail-clipper who, once past security, purchases a new one in the notions store....

The notion of "in loco parentis" was a good one....it placed some responsibility and authority on schools and colleges....they were placed in "place of the parent" in legal terms and that was and is good...

But this is institutional insanity....and it reminds me that in cases like this, we need to use the remedies that a democracy offers...who is on the school board? Who hires the superintendent and principals? Who pays the salaries....yep boys and girls....WE DO!

Every heard of "recall votes"....? So, bitch, make noise and all that...but it's for naught unless you're willing to take these survivors of the vertical family trees out of circulation via a democratic fashion.....vote 'em out....

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Old April 9, 2002, 09:35 AM   #20
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rock jock

agreed.
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Old April 9, 2002, 10:42 AM   #21
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Hm.

Is it legal to educate your kids from home in the US?

Because it seems to me that this witless blanket-punishment mentality's reallllly turning into a drag.
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Old April 9, 2002, 11:54 AM   #22
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Wait 'til he gets to tenth-grade biology and has to dissect a frog with his teeth... :barf:

And I shudder to think of what happens in med school!

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Old April 9, 2002, 12:22 PM   #23
Joe Demko
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Quote:
But this is institutional insanity....and it reminds me that in cases like this, we need to use the remedies that a democracy offers...who is on the school board? Who hires the superintendent and principals? Who pays the salaries....yep boys and girls....WE DO!
Excellent.
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Old April 9, 2002, 12:51 PM   #24
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jmbg29: "[P]eople should learn to love plants, not eat them."

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!
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Old April 9, 2002, 01:34 PM   #25
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bog

yes it is legal, and quite accepted to home school your children. there are programs in place, mainly for families that live in rural areas away from any public school. in most states, it is not free, the courses have to be paid for. but in alaska, there are programs that are fully compensated by the state. i was home schooled, and so were several of my friends. it was a choice that my parent made and that i stuck with when i was deemed old enough to choose public school or home school.

best way to cheat through high school. i 'taught' myself every subject. still couldnt get enough credits to graduate without stretching into a fifth year of high school though.
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