Wednesday, September 28, 2005

6-year-old Butter Knife Terrorist

A butter knife in a boy's book bag led to suspension at Omaha Public Schools this week. Ethan Gray is a first-grader at Ed Babe Gomez Heritage Elementary School at 17th and P streets. Gray said he didn't know the knife was in his book bag. OPS said it has a zero-tolerance policy. . . . Gray, who is 6, said he brought his book bag to school on Monday, but when he set it down, one of his family's butter knives fell out onto the cafeteria floor. A teacher walked up to question him. Gray told the teacher he wasn't sure how the knife got there. His family thinks his 4-year-old brother, Ben, put it there.
Now al Quesadilla is really getting out of line, recruiting 4 and 6 year olds to be terrorists. Seriously, though, Omaha Public Schools need to lighten up. When I was his age, our school gave us butter knives at lunch. "OPS said the boy could have been expelled." That's nice. What I'm going to do is e-mail all the members of the Omaha school board. I suggest that you do the same.

The letter follows.
To: Omaha Public School Board members

I am a second-year law student at the UNL College of Law, and I am writing in regards to the situation of Ethan Gray. I found out about the issue through (a web site with massive worldwide readership) who appropriately labeled the choice to suspend Ethan as “asinine.” No more than 17 years ago, when I was Ethan’s age, I was given a butter knife in the school cafeteria every day. I understand that weapons technology has grown by leaps and bounds, but I hardly think that the butter knife has evolved to a level where it could be any more harmful than a pair of safety scissors, an item that the elementary students are no doubt required to have.
The actions taken at Ed Babe Gomez Heritage Elementary School have done nothing but raise more bad publicity for Nebraska at a time when Tommy Lee attends our beloved UNL and grown men marry 14-year-olds. I strongly urge the board to take action to redeem Nebraska by issuing a public apology and taking no disciplinary measures against little Mr. Gray.


Kelly Hoffart

And, for your convenience, all of their e-mail addresses.

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