12 Sep 2008

Broken Pencil Sharpener Leads to Panic at Hilton Head Elementary School

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Legendary White Crane-style Kung Fu Master Pei Mei, it is said, killed twelve fully-armed Shaolin monks using only the blade from his broken pencil sharpener.

South Carolina Low Country Island Packet has a story indicating that the Zero Common Sense policies associated with America’s bed-wetting, nincompoop haute bourgeoisie have spread even to within a stone’s throw of the US Marine Corps’s recruit training depot at Parris Island.

A 10-year-old Hilton Head Island boy has been suspended from school for having something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener.

The problem was his sharpener had broken, but he decided to use it anyway.

A teacher at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School noticed the boy had what appeared to be a small razor blade during class on Tuesday, according to a Beaufort County sheriff’s report.

It was obvious that the blade was the metal insert commonly found in a child’s small, plastic pencil sharpener, the deputy noted.

The boy — a fourth-grader described as a well-behaved and good student — cried during the meeting with his mom, the deputy and the school’s assistant principal.

He had no criminal intent in having the blade at school, the sheriff’s report stated, but was suspended for at least two days and could face further disciplinary action.

District spokesman Randy Wall said school administrators are stuck in the precarious position between the district’s zero tolerance policy against having weapons at school and common sense.

“We’re always going to do something to make sure the child understands the seriousness of having something that could potentially harm another student, but we’re going to be reasonable,” he said.

Pious blithering letter to parents from school dated 9/11.

Police report (!). These idiots actually called the police over this!

Principal McAden “clarified” today, defending the school’s insanity and asserting that the child was “not suspended for having a pencil sharpener. He had an exposed blade which created a dangerous setting for the student and other children. The student was suspended for one day for inappropriate behavior in the classroom.”

Dangerous? Maybe a legendary martial artist could do something effective with a weapon of the sort (especially in the Hong Kong cinema), but an elementary school kid is going to do what with a marginally-edged one inch piece of metal?

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Broken pencil sharpener

[…] Stand back! Get the principal on the line! Call the cops! The kid’s got a broken pencil sharpener! (Hilton Head, S.C. Island Packet, Sept. 11) (more, principal’s letter, police report in PDF — via Never Yet Melted). […]



Warren

Please do your best to avoid the grammatical errors. I read your blog daily, and these errors make you appear dim. “Maybe a legendary martial arts could do something” doesn’t make sense, but your argument still does. Those juxtapositions have influence over readers!



JDZ

That was just a typo. A couple of letters didn’t get typed in.

It happens. I’m old. My reading glasses are, too, and I tend to type too often while chatting on the phone or wrestling with a cat on my lap.

But, thanks for catching this one. Feel free to email me.



Fed up from SC

Ladies & Gents:

Let me assure you that this story though based on a police report, was not correct. I really wish that everyone would quit assuming that everything they read is true. I applaud this district and administration for their decision and I think if you really think about it you should too.

Ask yourself: What would have happened if this boy decided to bully someone with that blade? An entirely different story, truth-be-told, but we hold teachers and school administrators responsible for students safety and then when they do their best to make sure they are safe, we throw them to the dogs? Seriously? Can we really afford to do that in a post 9/11, post Columbine, post VT world?

The teacher and the assistant principal involved in this situation did not ask for their entire week to be ruined because of this boys bad choice. Let me remind you that all of this HOPLA is over a 10 year old boys bad choice. He dismantled a pencil sharpener (AT home) then brought the blade to school (not the other pieces) then decided to play with it during instruction. The teacher then had to stop instruction to deal with the situation. No this boy is not innocent, he isn’t exactly what I would call a “good student” either.

I wish adults AND PARENTS would stop defending children for their bad choices, and actually PUNISH THEM for them for their mistakes. Maybe then we wouldn’t have the need for Safe School Acts or zero tolerance policies.

Thank you for your time.



Disappointed in Educators

Unfortunately, there appears to be a flood of letters to congresspeople all over this country from Pencil Control, Inc., encouraging them to pass new laws demanding a 7-day waiting period for sharpeners and ammunition (pencils), government registration of pencil sharpeners, a ban on automatic sharpeners, a demand for “smart sharpener” technology, and a government sharpener buy-back program designed to trade pencil sharpeners for U.S. flags and government peanut butter.

In response, I’ve decided to join the National Pencil-Sharpener Assocation (NPA) as a lifetime member, which will protect my rights to keep and bear pencil sharpeners as envisioned by our forefathers.



peter

“Let me assure you that this story though based on a police report, was not correct. I really wish that everyone would quit assuming that everything they read is true” So what is the truth? Please enlighten us as you obviously have much better information thatn us. Please give us the opertunity to hold our heads in shame for believing a police report instead of someone commenting on a blog.

“What would have happened if this boy decided to bully someone with that blade?” Well? Was there any bullying? Was there any suggestion of Bullying? Was there any suggestion he was a bully and therefore could have used this blade? Um….no.

“I wish adults AND PARENTS would stop defending children for their bad choices, and actually PUNISH THEM for them for their mistakes. Maybe then we wouldn’t have the need for Safe School Acts or zero tolerance policies”. Ahem. you are advocating a zero tolerance policy …in order…..to….prevent…a… zero tolerance policy. Doh.

In case you missed the vital point. IT WAS A PENCIL SHARPENER. It was not used in an attack. It was not used to threaten an attack. It was being used as a PENCIL SHARPNER. Got that? Or do you need a lesson in common sense?



Casey

Harming the children with a blade from a pencil sharpener?

I know something that’s even more harmful to society as a whole, and that’s paranoia mixed with intolerance.

The story itself pushes that point if you pay close attention.



Mouse Trap Mom

My son was also a “victim” of the school system ignorance. He took a 1 inch x 1 1/2 inch mouse trap to school for a science project. He was suspended for two days because he was “causing a commotion” after school, while waiting for a ride. I have video and a signed statement from the witnesses stating they were not in “danger”.
I was told by the principal that “I am the principal, I am the boss, so whatever I say goes”. She claimed the trap was a “DEADLY WEAPON”!!.
I had a meeting to dispute the claims, I took the trap with me and demonstrated the effects of snapping my finger with the trap…It didn’t kill me!! Thus not deadly!
The suspense was NOT revoked! They are Comman Sense Challenged Gustapo!



Valerie Protopapas

There is an old Greek adage, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

Yeah.



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