The stupidest school district on earth

From Patrick Madrid comes one of the stupidest things I have ever seen:

If this story doesn’t aggravate you, nothing will. A pint-sized cub scout has been suspended for bringing a “weapon” to school. And the rocket scientists who are running the school district whose boundaries this child has the misfortune to reside within have sentenced the little guy to reform school because of what they deem to have been a "level three offense." Seriously.

Six-year-old Zachary Christie was so excited to become a Cub Scout that he brought his camping utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a knife, and Zachary wanted to use it at lunch.

What Zachary didn’t know was that the gizmo violated his school’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons. And now the Christina School District in Newark, Del., has suspended the first grader and ordered him to attend the district’s reform school for 45 days.

Zachary’s parents insist their son did not intend to hurt anyone, and they are fighting to overturn the ruling. . . . (source) (see also)

Poor little kid.

How dense are these people?


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  1. I hope the parents smite this nonsense in the courts. Surely there’s a foundation that can help them with legal bills.

  2. JayneK says:

    Zero tolerance = infinite nonsense.

  3. In this day and age when there are so many problems in schools, you can understand why schools would have rules about weapons.

    But imagine… imagine… making such an example of this poor little kid.

  4. EXCHIEF says:

    That is the consequence of people not being trained to think but merely react

  5. Tantum Ergo says:

    And these people are in charge of educating our kids?
    The most dangerous thing in that school is all the loose marbles strewn about.

  6. Fr. John Mary says:

    And yet they hand out condoms (I hate! that word), and teach them how to do whatever to each other in the primary grades…God help us!

  7. Rellis says:

    This wouldn’t happen if the pro-abortion teachers unions let parents keep their property taxes so they could CHOOSE to send their children to Catholic school.

    You know what I have “zero tolerance” for? Pro-abortion teachers unions taking my tax dollars and teaching children to support the culture of death.

  8. AndyKl says:

    *Six-year-old Zachary Christie was so excited to become a Cub Scout that he brought his camping utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a knife, and Zachary wanted to use it at lunch.*

    Honestly, I feel for this kid. I’m a 22 year old college student. I bought one of these devices for a pilgrimage, and I absolutely love it. It might be the best piece of silverware I’ve ever purchased in my life, or that I’ve come into contact with (notwithstanding familial china…).

    That little tool is an amazing thing, and it’s so compact!

    This is absolutely ridiculous, that they suspended him.

    Prayers that these folks might overcome the idiocy that is public schooling.

  9. DarkKnight says:

    So they suspended him and sent him to reform school for a Vittel Kit?!

    One word H-O-M-E-S-C-H-O-O-L

  10. Can’t say this is surprising in a world where schools have charged toddlers with sexual harassment.

    (Speaking of which, have you noticed the epidemic lately of public school teachers carrying on sexually with students? I’m with Dark Knight on the one word.)

  11. TNCath says:

    Father Z wrote: “How dense are these people?”

    As a public school teacher, I can say with 100% certainty that this is only one of many, many examples of the insanity that goes on in the public school system. I could tell you stories that would curl your Roman collar.

  12. Timbot2000 says:

    Reminds me of the great “King of the Hill” episode where Hank Hill works as a substitute shop teacher, who, in the absence of tools and lumber, has the kids bring tools from home and earn class credit by fixing the school, until of course Principal Moss discovers one of the kids with a “weapon” (a screwdriver), and threatens to suspend the kid under the justification “but if I give the kid a pass then it’s not a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy!”

  13. lucy says:

    I am so thankful that we are blessed to be able to homeschool. This story is utterly, total nonsense.

  14. hzab says:

    It would be interesting to know if BS like this occurs in other countries, or if it is just here where fear trumps common sense… There are also those places where children are suspended for praying before lunch. I feel bad for any good children forced to go to a public school, parochial schools seem to avoid this nonsense. I would hope because character of the student is considered, but at the very least because the option to vote with your feet/checks is there…

    I also am imagining the company this literal boy scout will be in for those 45 days of ‘reform’ school, if homeschooling is the only way out of this (at least for first grade) then those parents should consider it, for his sake.

  15. Clinton says:

    This sort of Kafkaesque nonsense is inevitable with ‘zero tolerance’. Bureaucracies love ‘zero tolerance’ policies because
    no one has to take responsibility for the outcome. The school district’s lawyers and insurance company love it, for obvious
    reasons. The administration loves it because they will never be held accountable if only they smite without discernment.
    The only people badly served in this are the children and their families — but it’s not as if the school district were there
    to serve them anyway …

  16. Fr. John Mary says:

    hzab: I’m afraid this is going on in Europe, but I have no facts to back me up. The secularization that has taken place throughout Europe has to be attributed to the education they are given, as well as the non-practicing Catholic parents. I could be wrong. Anyone is free to contest this; it’s just my “gut intuition” here.

  17. isabella says:

    I am not a lawyer, but what would happen if that little boy simply didn’t show up for “reform school” and the delinquents he’ll find there? Can they arrest the boy? His parents? Can he just keep calling in sick until they find a way to HOMESCHOOL ?

    If not, I would like to be the photographer who got the photo of him being marched off to reform school surrounded by armed guards. Nobel peace prize material :)

    Whatever happened to civil disobedience? People forget that our public schools are a relatively new thing, meant to *train* the working classes to be good, submissive workers. The elite have always had private teachers and tutors to *educate* them to think, reason, and rule. Sounds a little like homeschooling to me.

  18. moon1234 says:

    Has anyone heard of Catholic Schools? My kids attend a Catholic school. When I was a youngster I routinely carried a small pocket knife with me all the time, even in school. Many of the boys had swiss army knives, etc. This was IN school in the 80’s. None of the teachers said a word about it, unless you were whittling the desk during class.

    We even brought guns to school during one of our classes. I believe it was history. We were discussing the history of guns. So a bunch of us asked if we could bring in different guns to class to show the other kids. The next day we had 6-8 rifles and shotguns in class. No one batted an eye. Can you imagine what would happen now?

    However, the no weapons in school usually does not apply to polic as I routinely see them walking around the local campus carrying guns all the time.

    The public school and the people employed within have literally lost all common sense. Good Catholic parents who send their kids off to public school have no clue what is being subtly done to their kids. The church needs to stress the importance of attending a Catholic School. If is sad to see so many Catholic schools closed or used for a few hours a week only for CCD.

  19. markomalley says:


    This is not an isolated incident. Consider the case of Matthew Whalen of Lansingburgh NY:

    You may also wish to consider how many children have been suspended or expelled for carrying Tylenol in violation of the zero tolerance drugs policy that exists pretty well universally in schools today, as well.

  20. These people are not dense, they are abusive. It’s a mad, mad, world.

  21. Tricia says:

    This is my district!
    Another reason to homeschool. Perhaps the boys parents can legally un-enroll him and homeschool him to avoid this nonsense. The poor child will be traumatized if sent of to a reform school. We must pray for this family.

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    Diane: These people are not dense, they are abusive.

    Two words: CHILD ABUSE

    For 45 days: AGGRAVATED child abuse?

  23. 4mercy says:

    Sometimes it is just a wacky teacher. I love the school that my son attends, but once his teacher sent him to the principal’s for a “switchblade” comb! It was not exactly hard to figure out that it was a comb for picture day!

  24. dcs says:

    Clinton, what a perceptive comment! I do believe you’ve hit the nail on the head. As long as there is no leeway in interpreting the zero-tolerance rule, no school administrator will have to take responsibility.

  25. QUESTION: Are the school board members in that district elected by voters?

  26. Brian Day says:

    Has anyone heard of Catholic Schools?

    It’s not a safe choice as you think. Our parish school has a zero-tolerance policy – at least it did six years ago when my daughter attended there.

  27. Eric says:

    Part of my boys schooling today will be splitting logs. They will use axes, wedges, mauls and hatchets. We’re firing up the wood boiler tonight!
    (at least they better do it, because if I get home and it’s not done, they will wish they had the option of reform school, but I digress)
    I’m thinking of changing phys. ed. this evening from soccer to target practice with the .22. My little protest.

  28. marinaio says:

    As the poll indicates, it isn’t only the school board that lacks common sense! I hope the parents of this boy immediately remove him from the school and press a lawsuit against the idiots running it.

  29. Geremia says:

    From Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Divini illius magistri:

    [C]hildren are actually being torn from the bosom of the family, to be formed (or, to speak more accurately, to be deformed and depraved) in godless schools and associations, to irreligion and hatred, according to the theories of advanced socialism; and thus is renewed in a real and more terrible manner the slaughter of the Innocents.

  30. JayneK says:

    Here is a site with contact information for the school board members:
    This is what I wrote:
    “Mr. Evans and Board Members,
    As you probably realize by this time, people all over the world are
    outraged by the possibility of an innocent six year old being sent to
    reform school. Personally, I am appalled, that he was even sent home
    from school. This application of a “zero tolerance” policy to Zachary
    Christie has brought your school board international opprobrium. I
    encourage you to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that
    common sense and justice prevail.”

    Mr. Evans is the president of the school board and email to him bounces with a mailbox full message. However, I cc’d the other members and those were apparently delivered successfully.

  31. Jenny says:


    Are you in the Memphis City Schools? I have known two people who left teaching entirely after spending a couple of years in the Memphis district. Crazy stuff goes on there.

  32. Dubya Ay-See says:

    I hope that the family has the good sense to fight this tooth and nail. The public school is an agency of the State and, as such, its administrative decisions are subject to most of the same Due Process scrutiny as any other State agency. Hire a lawyer, demand a hearing, and sue the hell out of them.

  33. MarieSiobhanGallagher says:

    I saw this little boy interviewed on the Today show this morning (after the Rush Limbaugh interview, no I do not usually watch this show) and he was asked if he liked home schooling. His response was that, yes, he really enjoyed being home schooled. He could be in his serious mode and his silly mode when he wanted to be.

    I used to teach at an alternative school whereby students were remanded if they were suspended long term. One student had a knife in his pocket which fell out during a pick up basketball game. He was suspended for one year. Only difference was, when asked why he had it, he responded “For protection.” This was in a suburban upstate NY community.


  34. trad catholic mom says:

    I saw this on the news yesterday, I’m utterly appalled. There is no way I’d let them force my 6 year old into reform school. This is one of the multitude of reasons we chose to homeschool.

  35. B Knotts says:

    Unforuntely, Catholic schools are in many cases too similar to government schools to be an effective alternative. There are certainly good Catholic schools, but there are many which have adopted the educrat mentality.

  36. Aaron says:

    I’m about 95% of the way to thinking that sending a child to public school ought to be classified as child abuse.

    And the parochial schools I’ve had experience with weren’t drastically better.

  37. Melody says:

    I used to support the zero tolerance policy, but that was when I thought school districts would have a sane definition of what constitutes a weapon.

  38. Sherrytex says:

    The cub scout utensil=45 days. Imagine what a swiss army knife would have invoked!

    It’s too bad the kid wasn’t a budding film maker with artistic sensibilities, then all of Hollywood would be pleading clemency.

  39. Melody says:

    I just read that the little guy got pardoned. It’s nice to know the media are still good for something once in a while.

  40. dcs says:

    The school district changed their policy so that kindergartners and first graders who bring “weapons” to school will “only” be suspended for 3-5 days and not have to go to reform school. Still idiotic. And the policy remains in place for older children.

  41. irishgirl says:

    I am appalled at the over-reaction of this school board….is there any such thing as common sense anymore?

    It goes to show that there is NOT….!

    If I had married and had kids, I would have either homeschooled them or sent them to an ‘honest to God Catholic school’ [if the Nashville and Ann Arbor Dominicans were around]. The public schools are no good!

  42. Jenny says:

    For all those who simply say send them to a good Catholic school, it sometimes is not that easy. I live outside of Nashville and work within two miles of the Dominican campus. I would LOVE for my children to attend their schools, but the yearly tuition is over $10K per child. It just isn’t an option for my one income, non-trust fund family.

  43. claiborneinmemphis says:

    We’ve been blessed to have our kids taught by these Dominicans, and at our diocesan,Dominican-staffed school, tuition’s barely $4k, with generous financial aid available. By the way,several of the diocesan schools in your general area are partially staffed by the sisters, including St. Henry’s which is just a few minutes from the Dominican campus. These schools are far cheaper than Overbrook, offer extensive financial aid, and reduce tuition considerably for multiple kids, parish participation, etc. There are quite a few ways to reduce tuition to well below $4k. The sisters are known for their desire for all kids to have a Catholic education. Good luck to you if you decide to pursue it.

  44. Bill in Texas says:

    According to the news this morning, the school district has relented and the boy is back in class today. No word as to whether they actually changed the policy.

  45. Jenny says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize the sisters taught outside of Overbrook. Thanks for the info.

  46. claiborneinmemphis says:

    You’re welcome; hope it helps. (We wouldn’t be able to afford $10k either, by the way, not by a long shot).

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