Monday, January 10, 2011

Another case of Zero Intelligence

Instapundit has had several links to another classic case of Zero Intelligence.

About two weeks ago an article came out that a Lunchbox mix-up leads to charges for Sanford student:

An athletic and academic standout in Lee County said a lunchbox mix-up has cut short her senior year of high school and might hurt her college opportunities.
Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended from Southern Lee High School in October after school personnel found a small paring knife in her lunchbox.
Smithwick said personnel found the knife while searching the belongings of several students, possibly looking for drugs.
“She got pulled into it. She doesn’t have to be a bad person to be searched,” Smithwick’s father, Joe Smithwick, said.
The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.


This story has picked up a bit of buzz on the internet. For example this post has over 200 comments.

The blogger for An NC Gun Blog lives locally and has posted frequently about this. For example in Ashley Smithwick and the Paring Knife Incident he reports about how the school board called a meeting, then had a closed meeting and finally published a press release saying they couldn't give details because of privacy but they claimed the media report was inaccurate.

All of this illustrated one of the problems with public schools, there is little room for reason and judgement. Because of events like the Columbine shooting many schools have passed rules outlawing any kind of knife. They have "Zero Tolerance" for knifes. But this leads to zero intelligence responses. It doesn't appear the paring knife was a threat to anyone. A more reasoned response would have been to ask Ashley to be more careful and not bring the knife again.

I am so glad we can homeschool.


Mia Munn said...

Though the actions of the Lee Co school board sound strange, that was necessary to comply with the NC open meetings law. Whenever the board meets in closed session (such as to discuss personnel matters, legal issues, or individual student records), the board has to announce a public meeting, come into session as an open meeting, move to go into closed session (citing the reason), hold their close session, then reconvene in open session, before adjourning the meeting.

(I live in the next county over, and spend a lot of my time making sure our school board is following open meeting and public records law.)

Henry Cate said...

Thank you for the explanation.