Matthew Whalen is an Eagle Scout who is hoping to go to the US Military Academy. Maybe he won't be able to, though:
Seventeen-year-old Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh High School in Troy, N.Y., says he got in trouble over a survival kit he keeps in his car that includes a sleeping bag, water, a ready-to-eat meal and the small pocketknife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town.
When Whalen acknowledged he had the knife locked in his car, he was barred from school for a calendar month. Now that he is getting just 90 minutes a day with a tutor instead of 7 hours of instruction in class, he says he is worried that the suspension will mar his academic record and affect his application to attend the U.S.
This comes just after a Cub Scout was suspended (though the suspension was later reversed) for bringing in his new fork/knife/spoon utensil he was given in Scouts. One of the defenders of the decision said:
“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 president of the Christina district’s school board. He defended the decision, but added that the board might adjust the rules when it comes to younger children like Zachary.
What, they don't use pencils in that school? Do they have someone checking to be sure they don't get too sharp? I'd have loved to have been the pencil-sharpener monitor in kindergarten!
The community center where Derrion Albert was killed probably had a zero-tolerance policy too. But he wasn't stabbed with a pocket knife, just beaten with fists, feet and 2-by-4s.
I think kids are safer around pocket-knife-toting Boy Scouts than they are around zero-tolerance administrators.