Wednesday, September 28, 2005

6-year-old Butter Knife Terrorist, Pt. 2

Ms. Penny Sophir has responded to my e-mail as follows:
Miss Hoffart, every year when school begins, every student is given a copy of the code of conduct and it is discussed on their level in the classroom as well as sent home to their parents to read and sign and return to school.
In this day and age, a knife is a serious weapon in anyone's hands. It could have fallen into the hands of an older student or adult. It is up to the principal's discretion how to handle a situation. In this case, the in-house suspension was changed to 1/2 day and hopefully the student will use this lesson to realize the seriousness of this situation.
Penny Sophir
Board Member

To which I replied:
Ms. Sophir
First of all I would like to thank you for your prompt reply, although I understand that it may be a standardized response that was agreed-upon by the board or some other body.
I highly doubt that a 6-year-old can grasp the gravity of this so-called "offense," if a completely and absolutely harmless behavior can be called such. I also doubt that a 6-year-old would see a half-day off from school as a punishment of any sort. An effective punishment would have been to make him sit next to the teacher at recess, not to let him spend half a day at home in his pajamas watching cartoons. The largest issue is that this will go down on his permanent record until he graduates from high school, and he will be seen as a troublemaker when it isn't even clear that he put the butter knife in his bag.
You say that the "knife" could have fallen into the hands of someone more dangerous than the 6-year-old (who could possibly be more terrifying I cannot imagine). Does it occur to the school board that a butter knife is only a "knife" in a technical sense, and can't actually cut anything tougher than bread, and that only with considerable difficulty. A butter knife is infinitely less dangerous than many things that are otherwise readily available in an elementary school (such as pens/pencils, paper cutters, metal compasses, and even books). In fact, a fork would be more dangerous. I sincerely hope that the board will consider revoking the punishment and expunging it from the record, or, failing that, that the Gray family will file suit and obtain whatever relief they seek.
MR. Kelly Hoffart

Please, read my previous post and get in contact with the OPS board.

No comments:

Post a Comment