A six-year-old boy faces 45 days in a reform centre after attempting to eat his school lunch with a knife and fork camping set.
Zachary Christie opened up his folding cutlery after sitting down for a midday meal at his elementary school in Newark, Delaware, in the US.
In doing so, he violated the school district's strict zero-tolerance policy on dangerous instruments. He was suspended and ordered to attend a school for badly-behaved youngsters.
"Zero Tolerance" continues to be code for "Administrator Too Lazy/Stupid to do the Job They Were Hired for." The public sector is just rife with cowards, frauds and idiots.
"I was taken down to the office, and they told me that a student told them that I was carrying a knife," Whalen said. He said he told them "they could search me and everything, and they said, 'There's no need for that.'"
"And they said, 'Do you own a knife?' I said, 'Yes, I'm a soldier and an Eagle Scout — I own a knife.' "And they were like, 'Well, is it in your car or anything?' And I told them, 'Yeah, it's in my car right now.'
"And they asked me to show it to them. I didn't realize it was going to be a problem. I knew it wasn't illegal — my police chief grandfather gave the knife to me."
Whalen said he took school administrators to his car because he thought their fears would be allayed when they saw it was just a 2-inch knife. "They thought I had a dagger in my car or something like that, so I thought yeah, I'd show it to them," Whalen said. "I showed it to them, and they told me I had a knife on school property and had to be suspended."
But things didn't end there, Whalen said.
"They brought a cop in, who told them 'he's not breaking any laws, so I can't charge him with anything.'" Whalen said he asked Macri why a 2-inch pocketknife would be considered more dangerous than other everyday items around the school. "I said to him, 'What about a person who has a bat, on a baseball team? That could be a weapon.' And he said, 'Well, it's not the same thing.'"
"They gave me the five-day suspension, because that is all a principal can suspend a student for," he said. "And from there, they had a superintendent hearing to see if the superintendent wanted to suspend me for longer.
"They asked me if I wanted to say anything, and I told them all my accomplishments and what I've done, and the principal even admitted that I had no intent to use the knife, that I had no accessibility to the knife."
But school officials decided to suspend Whalen for an extra 15 days anyway, he said. And unless the decision is changed, he will not be allowed on school grounds until Oct. 21.
"I've been told by someone who works for the district that they had to do it, because if someone else had a knife and they saw that I didn't get a suspension, that it would look bad for the school."