10.12.2009

Help Zachary!

NBC World News Tonight ran this story this evening.  Zachary is a six year old boy from Delaware who took his cub scout food tool for camping to school in his pocket.  If you are not familiar with this tool it looks like a pocket knife but folds out to be a spoon, fork and a knife.  When the tool fell out of his pocket in the hallway he was immediately suspended.  The Zero Tolerance policy states he must spend 45 days in a reform school before being allowed to return to his school.

We are talking about a six year old!  Zero Tolerance is very necessary for the safety of our children.  I stand behind it!  I do not stand behind a one size fits all system.  Our children should not be treated as though they are criminals when they barely understand the definition of the word weapon.

I too have been in Zachary's mothers shoes.  It sucks!  There is no other way to put it.  Your children being punished for something they clearly are not old enough to understand.  One size does not fit all.  It does not work for clothes and doesn't work for our children!  Rules need to be in place.  Each rule violation needs to be looked at and evaluated on a case by case basis!  You can not possibly treat each child the exact same way.  No child should ever be picked up in class by a team of people with walkie talkies and delivered to a room without their parents.  They can not be in custody.  They still require car seats!

Hear the whole story here ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/33284007#33284007

If you feel led ... please sign his electronic petition at http://www.helpzachary.com/

MPM

Please think before you leave me a comment ... I am asking that you realize I post this entry because I have been there!  I speak out for my child and not to ruffle your feathers.  Please know you post things I may or may not agree with but I refrain from leaving unhelpful commments ... I ask you to do the same!

11 comments:

  1. I am somewhat torn on this subject.

    I understand why the zero tolerence policy is enforced.
    But at the same time there are kids like Zachary that are SIX years old.

    My brother had this happen to him. He was 17, just got his drivers liscense in GA and went to school. His bookbag had broken the night before so he took his fishing backpack instead. He thought everything was out. He left a VERY DULL pocket knife. This knife was old, and rusty and very tiny and could most likely not cut a string. But, my brother went into the mens restroom and it fell out of his bag. The janitor saw it and wouldn't let any of the young men leave. My brother instanly claimed it was his. Did not deny it. He was almost arrested. He got 10 days out of school and a hearing. He lost his drivers liscense until he turned 18. He almost failed his junior year due to absences and getting so far behind. He HAD to go to school when sick. All because of the zero tolerence policy. He had to quit his part time job because he had no way of getting there. His car sat in our driveway for a full year.

    The list goes on and on. It affected our entire family as we all had to get him to and from school.

    Sure there are kids out there that mean NO harm, like my brother, zachary and your child. But there are the kids out there that do. Its the events in the past that have brought these insane policies to life. It is a crying shame, but you can not treat children any different then the next. If they did it would be lawsuit after lawsuit.

    Just realized I wrote an entire book here...but I could go on and on.

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  2. Thank you for posting. I am on my way to the online petition. You know, I don't think that I support "zero tolerance" because it truly seems to be a one-size-fits-all / no-questions-asked / no-consideration-given type policy.

    My son is six. I would be horrified.

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  3. You are so right. Our superintendent of the system I taught in for many years realized this and added some specifications to our zero tolerance policy. One was about knives, and he said it was because lots of kids carry harmless pocket knives. I tried to sign the petition . . . some technical glitch and I couldn't. xoxo

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  4. I, as a former school teacher, would in NO WAY shape or form PUNISH an unknowing 6 year old for this slip up. I taught 5K and let me tell you they bring in all kinds of things and tell all kinds of stories, you wanna know why, BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN!! Poor little Zachary. He is handling it like a champ and is very well versed for a little guy!

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  5. How horrible! I totally agree with your post- the school district should not have a blanket, one size fits all policy. You are completely right that each incident should be carefully evaluated.
    I signed the petition and I hope it will help!

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  6. I agree, this poor kid. He's so cute and his poor mom! He didn't know any better!

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  7. I do NOT agree with the zero tolerence policy. That child - that story left me in a sobbing mass this morning - and then in a very concerned state. Is this what it has come to?

    Although not to this extreme - my 3 year old nephew was playing with blocks at pre-school, albeit a private pre-school, with his friends pretending the blocks were guns and they were shooting dinosaurs. The teacher called his Daddy and had a parent/teacher conference and told him the play was unacceptable. They were just excited that "Walking With Dinosaurs" was coming to the Colonial Center that night and we were all going to see it! They are 3 year olds - come on..... I understand that whole guns at school, but 3 years old???

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  8. You are in a position to make changes happen. With enough support the school board/district can write a clause on age related incidents, so that these young children that make mistakes won't be subject to the same judgment as a teenager with criminal intent. This has brought such negative exposure to your school district that they should be looking for change. Stand out from the crowd and make change happen for our future leaders.
    Hang in there Zachary, you are a great kid.
    Cindy G.
    Mount Vernon, WA

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  9. I love your Carrie Bradshaw quote! Fabulous blog! Xo

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  10. I think another important part to this is the "weapon" could not do any more harm than say a pencil or pen. It is a dull instrument and many times it is made of plastic. I think the actions of these adults are absurd.

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  11. Insanity. This country is lost when we allow policies like this. When will we wake up??

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