Grrr! Knives don’t kill people Folks, – people kill people!
Three schools, three knives, and three kids made news this month. The one yesterday was tragic, the other two are just tragically stupid.
First came the case of the 6-year old Cub Scout – Zachary Christie suspended from Downes Elementary School and sentenced to 45 days in reform school for bringing his lethal eating utensil to school. It took 150 outraged citizens at the Christina School Board to return sanity to Wilmington’s largest school district, who just last year suspended a girl for a serrated plastic knife she brought to cut her birthday cake.
Next Eagle Scout and US Army Private Matthew Whalen – a 17 yr old Lansingburgh HS senior – Troy, NY got a 5 day suspension for a 2-inch scout knife locked in his car with his other camping equipment. Whalen has previously been awarded the Life Saving award for saving his aunt when she had a seizure. He had hopes of attending West Point. But then Lansingburgh School District Superintendent George J. Goodwin “discovered” an unknown and unpublished “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy, and upped Matt’s suspension to 20 days! And this self-righteous prick [call: 518 233-6850 ] won’t even meet with Matt’s parents!
But yesterday a troubled and autistic 16-yr old Trevor Varinecz came to Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Forest High and sought out the school police officer for a meeting. Once in a room, he stabbed Officer Marcus Rhodes twice with what is described as “a long knife”. Rhodes then shot Trevor twice, killing him on the spot. News is sketchy on this story, partly because in June 2006 an 18-year old Forest High student – Natalia Holmes – was stabbed 15 times as she got off her school bus. Her ex-boyfriend is doing life.
While I support most “No Weapons in School” policies, – please note that they didn’t save Natalia, and they didn’t deter Trevor. Knives don’t kill people. Guns don’t kill people. Rocks don’t kill people. PEOPLE kill people! School administrators need to use common sense and sound judgment when a Cub Scout brings in an eating utensil, or an Eagle Scout has a 2-inch knife locked in his car with his camping gear. Over-reaction, intransigence, and bureaucracy will not save student’s lives any more than the posting of Zero-Tolerance policies.
Near here in January 2007, troubled 17-year old John Odgren – who had bounced out of several Massachusetts high schools, came to Lincoln-Sudbury HS one morning intending to inflict bloodshed. Seeming at random he ambushed 15 year old honor student James Alenson in the boy’s room, slashed his throat and stabbed him in the stomach with a 13-inch carving knife. Alenson was dead within hours. Then we learned of Odgren’s violent history and his parents efforts to keep his warped past from school officials.
People, as I type this I know that somewhere a student will be hurt or killed with a plastic spoon, a ball-point pen, – or a No. 2 pencil. Will that school board over-react and ban pencils over 3 inches? Will Staples and Office Max be prohibited from selling pencils longer than 3 inches? GET A GRIP!!
/s/ Iron Mike
Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!