Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When "Policies" Run Amuck...

I completely understand the need for caution in schools when it comes to weapons in the building, but I would also hope that the college-educated staff would incorporate common sense into their day-to-day enforcement of those policies:

"...A 10-year old Ocala,[FL] girl brought her lunch to school and a small kitchen knife to cut it. She now faces a felony charge after being arrested. The school and the sheriff's office disagree on the reason for the arrest.

School officials say the 5th grader was brown-bagging it. She brought a piece of steak for her lunch, but she also brought a steak knife. That's when deputies were called.

It happened in the cafeteria at Sunrise Elementary School. The 10-year-old used the knife to cut the meat.

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.

But a couple of teachers took the utensil and called the sheriff. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get the child's parents on the phone, so they arrested her and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.

School officials said it doesn't matter what the knife was being used for. They said they had no choice.

"Anytime there's a weapon on campus, yes, we have to report it and we aggressively report it because we don't want to take any chances, regardless," Christian said.

But the sheriff's office said the extreme measures in what some may say was a harmless incident had to do with school policy, not theirs.

"But once we're notified, we have to take some type of action," Pogue explained..." (source)

How scared was this little girl I wonder? Mom or Dad packs her a knife to cut her food and next thing she's being arrested and her parents can't be reached? ...And when they say a "kitchen" knife, I assume they mean a butter knife?

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