ALT TITLE Zachary Christie, A six y/o “A” student at John R. Downes Elementary School in Delaware, brought his favorite Cub Scout camping utensil (a combination knife, fork and spoon) to school to eat lunch with it — he eats all his meals at home with it and saw no problem with taking it to school.That afternoon, Zachary was suspended from school and, according to the rules of the Christina School District’s zero-tolerance policy toward weapons in school, he faces a mandatory “45-day sentence” in the school district’s alternative school — that’s where all the “bad” kids go.Ever since Columbine, this is a scenario that has been repeated throughout the country because school districts across the country have adopted a ‘one-strike you’re out’ zero tolerance policy. “The idea was to avoid discriminating against any student and to treat all students the same,” George Evans, the president of the Christina school board, told NBC News.”Treat all students the same!” That’s the mantra of educators who have given up being educators because they are stuck in a system that refuses to even consider the implications of dealing with each student as an individual.Throwing Down The Race CardHere’s a quote from the MSNBC article that explains the school district’s rationale for their zero-tolerance (‘one-strike and your out’) policy:

“Christina, which, according to its Web site, is the largest school district in Delaware with some 17,000 students, adopted made their policy zero-tolerance because of concerns over racial discrimination. Studies have shown in other districts that when school officials are given discretion over such cases, African-American students are disciplined at a disproportionately high rate.”

In plain English what they’re saying is: all teachers are racists that can’t be trusted to control their hatred of blacks long enough to judge disciplinary situations fairly.” Is there anyone out there who really believes that? Isn’t it much more likely that black students really do break the rules more often but the system has once again “folded” when CORE or the NAACP threw down the race card?I’m not a sociologist or a community activist and I’m certainly not a racist but I have lived long, have gone through Chicago’s mixed-race public school system (way back when people were still treated as individuals) and have seen the best and worst of behaviors from every racial group. Back then they realized that there were good kids, kids who tried to be good but easily got suckered into behaving badly by the bad kids and then there were troublemakers who actively sought out rules to break or, usually, actively sought out smaller, weaker kids to bully or otherwise misuse. The good kids usually got a “pass” when they broke some small rule and the troublemakers got treated appropriately. What happened there and everywhere else was the same thing that happened in Christina; the school districts got tired of fighting the charges of racism and adopted the stupid philosophy that every kid is the same and every kid should be treated as an amorphous “child,” subject to rules and discipline that, logically, should be reserved for the hard-case students.Welcome to the ‘Age of Stupidity!’ It began in the Federal government and has filtered down through the states, counties and cities to infect even the youngest of us; 6-year-old Zachary Christie is just one of the most recent victims.

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