From The New York Times: School officials in Newark, Del., say they will revise the district’s code of conduct to exempt kindergartners and first graders from some of its automatic and harsher punishments. The decision came after a first-grader, Zachary Christie, 6, was suspended and ordered to the district’s alternative school for troubled youth because he brought a camping utensil that included a small fold-out knife to school. School district officials also say they will reinstate Zachary to his school and remove the suspension from his record. The utensil that Zachary took to school was considered a “dangerous instrument” under the zero-tolerance policy of the Christina School District.
Earlier....from The New York Times: Zachary Christie, 6, a first-grader at Downes Elementary School in Newark, Del., was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to take a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school and use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school. Based on the code of conduct for the Christina School District, school officials had no choice. They had to suspend him because, “regardless of possessor’s intent,” knives are banned. Critics contend that such zero-tolerance policies have led to sharp increases in suspensions and expulsions, and that the policies undermine the ability of school officials to use common sense in handling minor infractions. The child's family has set up a web site.