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6-Year-Old Scout Suspended for Bringing Knife-Fork-Spoon Utensil to School

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Fox News: 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.

"Zachary wears a suit and tie some days to school by his own choice because he takes school so seriously," Zachary's mother, Debbie Christie, told the New York Times. "He is not some sort of threat to his classmates."

The school district, in a statement, said rules are rules and defended its decision to suspend the boy.

"At this time, the Student Code of Conduct does not take into consideration a child's age in a Level three offense," the statement read.

"This is the first incident this year involving a student under the age of seven in possession of a dangerous instrument. Christina School District staff and the Christina Board of Education are constantly examining ways to improve policies regarding student discipline."

At a meeting with the school disciplinary committee last week, Zachary's karate instructor and his mother's fiancé made the case for the boy's character.

And Zachary's mother has started a Web site to attract support for her son before a meeting of the school board on Tuesday.

Read more hot stories Moms Are Talking About.

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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
ame i. October 13, 2009, 8:31 AM

I feel bad for the little guy. He obviously didn’t understand that it was wrong to take it to school. He was just excited about eating his lunch with the tiny fork/spoon.
Like hell I would allow him to be sent to a reform facility.

Anonymous October 13, 2009, 8:45 AM

schools are getting too picky with their policies.

Kathie October 13, 2009, 9:20 AM

Yes, the punishment is a little harsh, but rules are rules - - those parents should use this situation as a learning experience for both the school system and their child. I cannot take a pocket knife in a court room or on an airplane and that utensil is essentially a pocket knife, fork and spoon. He can either remove the knife or LEAVE IT AT HOME or with the office, just like my husband has to leave his boy scout pocket knife with the court officer if he wants to enter a courtroom or a police station.

Appeal to the school board for a “better” or “more fair” punishment, but teach your child to follow rules and DO NOT MAKE THIS NATIONAL NEWS!! Every public school in all 50 states has a zero tolerance rule on the books - - lobby for a more fair punishmnet, but do NOT complain when a 6th grader uses that same boy scout pocket knife to stab his friends on the playground… .teach your child to follow rules in school, follow speed limits on the highways and pack his suitcase appropriately for airport security!! In other words, BE A PARENT!!! Not a crybaby!!

Alan  October 13, 2009, 11:09 AM

“The parents should us this situation as a learning experience”?
Give me a break. Why is that the cafeteria of that school has knives? No tolerance means no tolerance right.
They should fire them? Now that would be a learning experience.
Thank God for private schools.

Tina October 13, 2009, 10:48 PM

This is JUST STUPID… I agree with rules being in place, but there should be some common sense used as well!

Anonymous October 14, 2009, 12:50 AM

totally agree with kathie stop being silly be a PARENT!!! what if your son had fallen over and stabbed himself in the leg? or worse still, what if an older child saw it as a threatening object to threaten YOUR son? you’re not thinking straight at all!

Anne October 24, 2009, 5:56 PM

When I was in college before becoming a teacher, my professor explained how these stupid zero tolerance rules worked. Teachers and principals hands are tied, and they can only use the punishments specified in the rules. Teachers who feel their students are being punished unfairly may tell the parents to take the matter to the school board and offer to be character references for the student. Hopefully, that will happen in this case. Kudos to mom for homeschooling instead of placing her son in reform school.

Anonymous November 16, 2009, 6:28 PM

45 Days for a 7 year old in reform school
for a sporknife?

the kid is 7 years old.

seriously, is it possible to stab yourself with it?

Anonymous December 17, 2009, 8:16 PM

I highly doubt this child was going to use this as a weapon.

Denise February 9, 2010, 2:45 PM

My son did the same thing when he was in 1st grade. Luckily the principal had common sense. He had him do a detention to cement the fact that he wasn’t allowed to bring the item into school.

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