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October 23, 2007

Zero Tolerance Absurdity

Good grief!

A South Carolina high school freshman has been expelled from school for possession of a butter knife.

Amber Dauge was by all accounts a good student at Goose Creek High School. She had joined the Junior ROTC program and was a member of the school's chorus. But she says officials have overreacted to an honest mistake.

"I know I made a really stupid decision, but I don't think I should be expelled for it," Amber told WCIV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, which first broke the story.

"She was at home making toast and she looked up, saw the clock, and said, "Oh I'm going to be late," her stepfather, Steven Heinz, explained to ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.

"She ran out the door and locked herself out with the butter knife still in her hand."

"Now, she could have rang the doorbell and got us up and left the butter knife at home," Heinz said.

"And she could have dropped the knife on the porch, I guess. And I guess she could have, when she got to school, walked in and turned it in [school officials] … but she left it in her locker and forgot about it."

Heinz said Amber opened her locker a week later, and the butter knife fell out. A fellow student made a wisecrack about the knife that was overheard by a teacher, who reported it to school officials, according to Heinz.

Amber was immediately suspended for five days, pending an expulsion hearing that officials say was mandatory under by the school's "zero tolerance" policy toward weapons or potential weapons.

I love the fact that they are giving the girl a hearing prior to the mandatory expulsion, after which the letter was mailed on the same afternoon, indicating that there was already a decision made prior to the hearing.

One school official makes it clear that this was essential, given the heinous nature of Amber’s offense.

"It's not what we would consider to be a traditional butter knife," Bailey told ABC News. "Even though it's blunt on the end, it does have a serrated edge."

Bailey acknowledged Amber's clean disciplinary record — beyond a minor uniform infraction. "Despite the fact that the student was an exceptional student, this has nothing to do with how good she was in the classroom. She was in possession of a knife."

Oh, heavens – a serrated edge! Sounds like the knives my wife and I use for dinner each night. I mean, she might have been able to engage in an act of violence like slicing a banana or cutting a sandwich in public! She had to go, especially given the flagrant disregard for uniform policies in the past. This child is clearly a menace to society who should be locked up!

At least the administrative ass in question does have some compassion for the family.

"Certainly, if it was my child, I would have a different perspective," she said. "But if you're a school administrator, your perspective has to be broader. You have to consider the safety of the entire student population."

What a moron – there was no safety issue here. But in the interest of making sure that no parent complains that their child has been discriminated against after their child starts hacking up classmates with a samurai sword, possession of anything that bears a vague resemblance to a dangerous weapon (including a harmless kitchen utensil) must be banned and harshly punished.

What morons!

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, , Adam's Blog, The Populist, Shadowscope, The Pet Haven Blog, Stuck On Stupid, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, Pursuing Holiness, Conservative Thoughts, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, The Yankee Sailor, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





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Comments on Zero Tolerance Absurdity

Shoot, in pinch I could use my belt, glasses, shoe laces, hard cover books, and a chair as a weapon. But zero tolerance laws have little to do with logic.

I don't think I'd made it through school since ALL my friends used to carry a jackknife to school. On a school camping trip we all took our hunting knives. And the horrors of horrors, a buddy brought a Rambo knife to school to show off. This doesn't count the times my teacher would come to school with a .30-30 in his gunrack of his pick-up...and some how nothing ever happened other than a couple of fist fights.

|| Posted by Dakotaranger, October 24, 2007 12:00 AM ||

I just taught my boys how to whittle this summer, but even though they were thrilled and wanted to show their friends at school, I had to explain how that's now considered a *weapon*.

I understand, but still it saddened me.

|| Posted by Ms. V, October 24, 2007 02:20 PM ||

It's a shame that adults in charge have lost any idea of common sense. Instead they plan to ruin this girl's life and reputation over this incident. Aren't we in the business of teaching? What does this teach our children? This teaches them to hide things, and lie. We are supposed to teach our children the art of critical thinking. Yet, this kind of actions show that everything is black or white and we don't need any kind of critical thinking.

|| Posted by Pat, October 28, 2007 08:46 AM ||
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