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It’s a fork, it’s a spoon, it’s a … weapon?


A 6-year-old’s suspension for bringing a camping tool to school has sparked a debate over whether schools’ zero-tolerance policies on weapons have gone too far, reports the New York Times. Six-year-old Zachary Christie was suspended recently from the Christina School District in Delaware for taking a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork, and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school. Spurred in part by the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings, many school districts around the country adopted zero-tolerance policies on the possession of weapons on school grounds. More recently, there has been growing debate over whether the policies have gone too far. Based on the code of conduct for the Christina School District, where Zachary is a first grader, school officials had no choice. They had to suspend him because, "regardless of possessor’s intent," knives are banned. But the question on the minds of residents here is: Why do school officials not have more discretion in such cases?

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