A seventh grader in Coldwater, Michigan has been suspended for trying to turn in a pocket knife that he found, according to his mother.
Kyler Davies, a 7th grade student, found a pocket knife in his backpack. His mom tells us she bought the bag at Goodwill and never checked it. When her son found it, he told a counselor, and was suspended.
“He was turning it over like he was supposed to, and you are punishing him for doing what’s right. So what it that teaching these kids?” his mother Denise Davies asked.
It is fairly common to hear about public schools doling out irrational punishments in today’s world of “zero tolerance” policies. Zero tolerance is short for zero opportunity for anyone in a position of responsibility to exercise sound independent judgement. No matter how innocent the circumstances, rules is rules.
Davies says, per school rules, the incident meant an automatic one year suspension–a punishment that was later knocked down to 30 school days.
A one year supension? How merciful of them to knock it down to only 30 days, which is also insane.
Of all the tools available to it for preventing violence, governments often decide that stupidity is the most ideal. Students get suspended for pointing “finger guns” or drawing pictures with guns. Not long ago, such rules would have had more students suspended than in the classroom.
Punishing people for doing the right thing only makes it less likely they’ll do the right thing in the future. Nothing makes people disrespect authority and rules more than applying them harshly and arbitrarily.