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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at

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A Delaware case about “weapons”


Something to ponder from Delaware via the Associated Press this morning:

Delaware 1st grader has 45-day suspension

By BEN NUCKOLS= Associated Press Writer

BEAR, Del. (AP) _ A Delaware first-grader who was facing 45 days in an alternative school as punishment for taking his favorite camping utensil to school can return to class after the school board made a hasty change granting him a reprieve.

The seven-member Christina School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce the punishment for kindergartners and first-graders who take weapons to school or commit violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.

Zachary Christie, 6, had faced 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers after he took the utensil _ a combination folding knife, fork and spoon _ to school to eat lunch last month. Now, he could return Wednesday.

"I want to get him back as soon as possible. I want to put this behind him as soon as possible," said Debbie Christie, Zachary’s mother. "But I also want him to know that he has a voice, and when things are not right, he can stand up and speak out against them."

A spokeswoman for the school district said more changes to the school system’s code of conduct were possible in the coming months.

The punishment given to Zachary was one of several in recent years that have prompted national debate on whether schools have gone too far with zero-tolerance policies.


  • tpkeller

    These folks still don’t have a clue… they’ve reduced the punishment for bringing “a weapon” to school, or other “violent” behavior… this little kid didn’t bring “a weapon” to school, and he didn’t commit any “violent” behavior. He brought a nifty little camping utensil to use to eat lunch! What a surprise: little boys like tools!

    Of course, he should not have brought it, but this is why we send kids to school… to LEARN, not to be criminalized. In a sane world, the teacher would have simply held the utensil until after school, and then returned it to the child with gentle instruction that tools like that aren’t allowed in school, and please check with your parents next time.

    The sad thing is that these “educators” probably really can’t figure out why parents keep pulling their kids out of public schools.