I was appalled beyond belief when I first heard of the punishment this innocent little Cub Scout received for bringing his camp silverware to school ["The Saga of the Suspended 6-Year-Old," usnews.com]. I am encouraged that his punishment was reduced. Please do not let fear make this country into one that is not free, such as communist or socialist nations where people have to hide even their religious beliefs. I am retirement age now and as I look back over the years to my childhood, I realize that this is not the same country I was born in. Let's use compassion and common sense in our schools when dealing with very young, innocent children. Remember, they are the ones who will take over when we are no longer here.
Comment by Carole L. Seneker of MO
So the kid is an "A" student. That is not the big picture as he is not the only kid at a school. Just how would the story be told if another student had tried to take the knife away from him to look at it and the boy resisted. In the scuffle, a third student had been accidentally injured. Then who would all these parents be screaming at then? The school still? The kid may have had no ill intent and that is truly good and well. However, can the same be said for every kid at the school? If you have kids, how often are things taken or lost from them while they are at school? Now imagine you are told that your kid was injured at school because another student had brought a utility knife with fork and spoon to eat. But he managed to have it taken or stolen from him by another student. Aren't you going to be just as mad at the student that brought this item to the school as the kid who injured yours?
Comment by Mark of TX
I can see both sides to this argument. On one side, it's clear the child meant no harm and was just excited about his new toy from Cub Scouts. On the other side, the school has to watch out for itself because it could be blamed if anything bad did happen. I don't really think you can apply the "no tolerance" policy to kids this age. It would be best to judge these things on a case-by-case basis and make sure the punishment fits the crime. In this case, they did the right thing by letting the boy go back to school instead of sending him to a reform school.
Comment by Keri of IL
These incidences should be considered as individual cases for young school children. A zero-tolerance discipline policy can backfire on schools when cases are as innocent as this one was with Zachary. A minor suspension is reasonable to set a precedent and teach both the child and his peers that no weapons of any kind are allowed on school premises. However, any excessive punishment beyond that from a school district is too harsh and unnecessary for an incident that is unintentional and innocent.
Comment by Melissa K of ME
I was appalled that Zachary was being considered a dangerous person because he had a Boy Scout knife in school. I certainly don't think there was anything wrong with asking him to turn it in to his superiors, and he would take it home when school was dismissed. I am a very conservative-minded person, and I do believe in discipline. Since this is the first time that Zachary was disciplined for something he had no idea was "against the rules," I firmly believe we should get on with it, and I'm very sure that Zachary has learned a lesson he shall never forget.
Comment by Beulah Erwin of KY