So a 6-year-old was so excited about joining the boy scouts, he took his new camping utensil (fork/knife/spoon combo) to school to use at lunch. Thanks to a zero-tolerance policy with no allowance for discretion by the district, this kid was suspended and is up for 45 days at reform school! What the hell? If that's not infuriating enough, last year state lawmakers there tried to make disciplinary rules more flexible by giving local boards authority to modify the terms of the expulsion on a case-by-case basis, but because the law addressed "expulsion" and not "suspension," this kid was still kicked out of school for a month and a half. This poor kid is scarred for life because of a technicality!
Pissed off yet? Get this - also in Delaware, a third-grade girl was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it. A year!!!! Even worse: the teacher called the principal — but not before using the knife to cut and serve the cake. WHAT?!?!?!! The teacher uses the knife to cut the cake, serves it to the kids, then calls the principal and gets the birthday girl kicked out of school for a year?!??!
I just checked and my kid's school district's policies includes this: "Under state and federal law, expulsion from school is required for a period of not less than one year for any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to school. The superintendent may modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis."
Additionally, under "discipline/due process," the following is included: "Disciplinary measures are applied depending on the nature of the offense. The age and past pattern of behavior of a student will be considered prior to any suspension or expulsion."
Good. Just like most schools, my kid's school has it's fair share of kids who are just complete assholes, so I certainly want some rules, but I'm glad to see the policies allow for some discretion to avoid situations like these completely insane examples from Delaware.