Six-year-old Zachary Christie faces 45 days in his district’s reform school after bringing in a Cub Scout’s camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork, and spoon to school, the New York Times reports.
Knives are banned “regardless of possessor’s intent” in the zero-tolerance weapons policy of the Christina School District in Delaware, where Zachary attends 1st grade. Citing the zero-tolerance policy, school administrators suspended Zachary, a new Cub Scout who was excited to use the camping tool at lunch.
“Zachary wears a suit and tie some days to school by his own choice because he takes school so seriously,” said Debbie Christie, Zachary’s mother. Following Zachary’s suspension, Christie is home-schooling him while she fights his reform-school sentence. She started a Web site to generate support for Zachary, saying, “He is not some sort of threat to his classmates.”
The president of the district’s school board does appear to be open to the possibility of reducing Zachary’s sentence.
“There is no parent who wants to get a phone call where they hear that their child no longer has two good seeing eyes because there was a scuffle and someone pulled out a knife,” said George Evans, the board’s president, before adding that he would be open to potentially adjusting the zero-tolerance rules for younger students such as Zachary.
As for Zachary? While he awaits his schooling fate, he seems concerned with his classmates’ potential reaction to his knife-related blunder.
“I just think the other kids may tease me for being in trouble,” Zachary said, “but I think the rules are what is wrong, not me.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.