Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Common sense overrules suspension of six-year-old

In a rare win for common sense, first grader Zachary Christie's suspension was lifted yesterday following a meeting of the school board.

It's about time that common sense won out over zero-tolerance policies that make zero sense. The Christina School District, where Zachary is a student, has dealt with similar cases, including the expulsion of a young girl last year after her grandmother sent her to school with a birthday cake and a knife with which to cut it. (She was, coincidentally, not reprimanded until after the teacher used the knife to cut the cake.) After the girl's case, a state law gave school districts flexibility on punishments that included possible expulsion (the girl's expulsion was eventually overturned), but failed to affect cases that led to suspensions instead of expulsions. Thankfully, Yahoo! News reports that the district may be working on more changes to the school's code of conduct.

I'm in good company on my quest for common sense. Yahoo! News reports that Kenneth S. Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services agrees with my sentiments. "When that common sense is missing, it sends a message of inconsistency to students, which actually creates a less safe environment," said Trump. "People have to understand that assessing on a case-by-case basis doesn't automatically equate to being soft or unsafe."

Today's score?
Common sense = 1
Ridiculousness = 0

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