should he have been suspended 10 days??

@mzz663 (2776)
United States
April 13, 2007 6:18am CST
When my son was 5, in kindergarten, I was called by the school and told that my son had a knife in school and he was being suspended for 10 days. That morning, as always, I checked his bookbag and put his homework and munch money in an envelope. Took him to the bus stop, it was raining so he didn't interact with other kids, went straight from the car to the bus. While on his way to recess, behind some shrubbery, him and another little boy found a knife and on the way back in the school, picked it up, took it up to the 3rd floor of the school to his classroom, put it in his bookbag and near the end of the day, him and the other little boy were discussing who got to take the knife home for their mom. another student heard them and told the teacher. My son got suspended ten days becasue it was in his posession. When I went to talk to the principal, the knife was shown to me and it ended up being a knife that belonged to the school's cafeteria.....the lunches were being transported from one school to this one and the cafeteria workers had dropped it. It was a steak knife. my son and the other little boy thought their moms "needed" a new knife and thought we'd be proud that they took it home. There was no intent to harm other students or teachers. I talked to the school's principal, super intendent and school board but he still got suspended 10 days. I think it was the schools fault in the first place for being careless and it should have been the cafeteria workers that got punished and they acted like I was a lunatic for mentioning it. My lawyer said it wouldn't do much by hiring him, that the 10 days would be over by the time the cse got anywhere. was this punishment too severe? I'd like some input on this.....he's older now, but still seems to have the "trouble maker" kind of reputation at school and keeps getting in trouble for things that he dont do and is in trouble until I talk to him and find out what's going on, talk to the teachers and principal and then they say things are ok. he never gets an apology, just more trouble than he really should be in, because of his kindergarten "bad boy with a knife" reputaion.
5 people like this
16 responses
@Rahul_ (8)
• Pakistan
13 Apr 07
I think the punishment was severe as children are innocent .Your son had a different thing in mind and it was for a good to help his mother.In the first place instead of giving your son the punishment the cafetaria workers should have been punished.
1 person likes this
@jhaspher (105)
• United States
13 Apr 07
This punishment is severe it wasn't the kids fault! And it won't happened if the workers in the cafeteria was too careful of the things they brought in the school. Just consult an attorney for these incident before you file any complaint to the school management for this matter and I just hope your kid is not traumatized by this incident. Goodluck!
1 person likes this
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
He's 11 now and hates school, doesn't want to go there....I'll be moving him to another school district and hopefully the "bad boy" reputation he's gotten won't follow him. There have been other incidents where he's been tried and found guilty before they found out the whole story. I've told the school employees not to question him until I get there. and yes, I agree.....the school should have taken the responsibility for part of it but they never have. They did give the knife back to the cafeteria so they had a "full set"
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Apr 07
My nephew took a knife to school and only got suspended for the rest of the day after the school found it. I can't believe that your son got 10 days suspension especially knowing it was one of their workers fault. Did they get fired for carelessness? I mean come on, definitely too harsh of a punishment in my honest opinion.
1 person likes this
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
no, no one else got in trouble but him. not the other little boy involved, not the cafeteria workers.
1 person likes this
14 Apr 07
I'm shocked. You talk about kindergarten, so I'm thinking you're not in England. I can't believe they didn't ask his version of events or investigate how the knife came to be there in the first place. To right he should never have been suspended. I would have taken this matter to court anyway, more to prove a point than anything else. OK so it couldn't have stopped the supension, but it would have put some justice back. I don't blame you. It's your lawyer I'm surprised @.This would have been referred to social services here & taken as negligence on the school's part. If I were you, I'd keep your lad in his current school if he's happy there. However, if he's unhappy &?or it's affecting his grades, I'd find somewhere else for him where he can have a clean slate. Time it for the new school year so no other pupils willl really question him about it. MY friend's daughter is in a school which used to be top here until the new head took over, now parents can't wait to take their kids out. I'd recommend you wait til the new school year, it causes the least disruption.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
this is in Ohio USA He's in 4th grade now and still has alot of problems at this school..... he's failed twice already and keeps getting further behind. we'll be moving during the summer, and into a whole different school system.
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I have mixed feelings on this one. With to many kids bringing weapons to school, the schools have to be safe. That child that told the teacher done what he or she was told to do. With your child, he was thinking like a typical 5 year old. Luckily, no one was hurt. If the school didn't suspend your child or gave him a smaller suspenion, other parents would have a hissy fit about it. That's two weeks of school, and for a child in kindergarten. I really don't know. I try to tell my kids not to pick up anything at school, no matter what, to tell the teacher. If a child in my kids school was found with a weapon, I would want them suspended as well. Good or bad, I have heard to many kids killing other kids, be it an accident or not. When he starts a new school, just sit down with the principal and talk to them about what happened on the record. Again, I have mixed emotions about this. Honestly, I think 10 days for this situation is to long for a 5 year old.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
Every parent I've talked to about this in this school system thinks they were being unreasonable about the whole incident. It's been awhile since this happened, but he still gets the short end of the stick on thigs that happen at school. He's gone from the elementary school to the middle school and the reputation he got there has followed him. I'm moving and he'll be at a different school next fall, but I can't change the fact that he hates school and doesn't want to be there. As far as another student getting hurt.....I would really have felt bad, maybe it would have ended up in the news and the schoolwould have taken responsibility for their part in all of this.
1 person likes this
@Impervious (1154)
• United States
13 Apr 07
With the rise in school violence and the fact that kids have more rights than we do so now everything is legislated and there is no room for common sense anymore. I don't know about you but teachers still used paddles when I was in school. Now the schools have no choice buit to enforce these universal rules and consequenses.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
Yeah, there were paddles back in the day and alot of teachers dont know how to deal with kids that have no consequences now days..... Back in the day, if you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home....but in this case I think the cafeteria workers and the school should have got the paddle....
1 person likes this
@tombiz (2039)
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
I believe the advise of the lawyer is benefecial to you -- it will definitely be a waste of time and money to file a case on the matter. However, you must a file a strong written of protest to the school management and have all the offices of the school receive a copy of the protest. This is to make your point and to make a little justice to your son. On the other hand, it will be better for you to tell your son to avoid similar "picking up" of anything to avoid a similar incident. Hope this thing is now finally solved.
1 person likes this
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
It's been explained to him, he understands that part. I had gone to school board meetings and gotten nowhere, they refuse to let me see his records to see whether it's still on them or not. He's 11 now,but still seems to get in trouble for things he don't do.....he's just been deemed as a "problem child" In first grade he got suspended 2 days. The principal called and told me my son was on the playground and was trying to pull a little girls pants down. He got in alot of trouble at home, until I talked to him. this is what my son told me...... he was on the playground, a bigger girl had pushed down another girl, he went to help the littler girl up and the big one pushed him on top of her. In trying to get up, he put his hands on her stomache and the bigger girl told another kid to go tell the teacher he was pulling down the littler girls pants. I took a list of names of the kids that were there and told the pricipal to talk to them on a one on one basis and my son was right. I was told the suspension was not in effect and I could send him to school the next day. I said no, he's staying home, he's been punished for something he didnt do, embarassed and I think he needs the rest. That's not the only two incidents that's happened. Finally I told the school to wait until I get there before they jump to conclusions and question him. Five adult teachers yelled at him that day and he just told them what they wanted him to say.
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
19 May 07
Well I agree that the cafeteria workers should be held accountable for leaving one on the ground...a child could have been seriously hurt. However, your son should have turned it in to the teacher. I know at 5 they don't think like that but they also don't think that a little knife could hurt anyone. Personally, I would have insisted that the cafeteria workers apologize for leaving the knife where a child could find it. LIVE IN PEACE
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Apr 07
It sounds to me like the school officials were just having an ego trip to me, & abusing their powers. I agree with you that it was the school's fault, & they're probbaly covering up for something, & chose him as a scapegoat. I'd say sue the school for a nice sum of cash for defamation of character. Not just him, but you also. Keep in mind that from your details, you actually were careful, & the rest was the school's responsibility. As you said, he & two others found the knife, & if it was from the school cafeteria, well, they chose to cover up for a school employee. Not only are they falsely accusing your son as being a "bad boy with a knife" reputation, it also reflects on you as his mother. Even if you don't really have much of a case, take it to the news media & maybe expose the officials that way.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Apr 07
Holy Cow! Where the heck did common sense go? This was not the kids' fault, it was something they found on school property that means it is the school's responsibility and their fault, not your child's. I would ask to have a copy of his school file, just to cover myself, and then I would write a letter of protest up to be put into your child's file so your protest and explanation stays on permanent record too. The punishment was extreme and while I understand the no-tolerance for weapons rule, we're talking about a kindergardner, not someone in Junior High or High School which truly are the ones these no-tolerance rules were designed for. The idea was to prevent another Columbine. Somebody is reading this stuff way too literally. If it were me I'd talk to another lawyer. Just like if you weren't comfortable with a diagnosis your doctor makes, you'd get a second opinion, if it were me I'd get a second opinion.
• United States
14 Apr 07
that is wrong that they suspened him for ten days,he was only a little boy and atleast he put it a way! but it was not his fault it was the lunch peoples fault now if that was me i would sue!
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4597)
14 Apr 07
Well in the circumstances a suspension of 10 days seems pretty harsh but there again if the school has a zero tolerance policy as far as weapons being carried in school then they have to take action. At least it sends a clear message to all the other children that carrying weapons won't be tolerated. If he keeps behaving well then eventually the "bad boy with a knife" tag will be forgotten.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
the image tends to stay with him. there have been a few other incidents since then and he's been proven guilty without any kind of fairness. The things he gets in trouble for get dismissed, and are usually heresay. The school seems to point the blame at him until I talk to him and tell the school what's happened and then they talk to other kids and clear him.....
@uiwwitch (892)
• United States
14 Apr 07
The way I see it, the policies of the school regarding suspensions need to be followed. granted that your son and his friends are innocent, they cannot let your son and his friends off the hook. The next time a knife or any "banned" items is brought to the school and was found out, the school would need to give punishment to them as well. Even if they're guilty, they can use your son's excuse and would expect not to be suspended as well. It's just too bad that your son got that reputation. Hopefully he will outgrow it.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
He was out the ten days but the school never claimed their part in the whole situation. He's 11 and in 4th grade, he hates school....the reputation seems to be sticking.
• Canada
13 Apr 07
This is an interesting comment...last night I was actually reading about another case where a child was punished for being a child. It seems as though our tolerance as a society has seriously diminished. To be honest I would be thankful that your child was only suspended. I say this, not because its right, but because its better than a 5 year old being carted off to jail as a felon. Please check out the below article. http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/police_6_year_old_under_arrest.htm yes, the police are now arresting (and cuffing) 6 year olds.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
Interesting article......my son had a little girl in his kindergarten class that acted the same way, it took two teachers to get her out of the classroom....one took her arms and the other took her legs and they took her to the office. Later it was found out that this little girl had alot of problems at home. I felt bad for her before I found that out, because I heard and seen how the teacher treated her and it only made her cry and kick and scream louder. I think alot of the teachers aren't sure how to deal with some of these kids and this is what we end up with. If my son would have been arrested, the school would have had to fess up about the knife that they didn't want to admit as theirs until I pointed out that the knife looked exactly like the ones they used in the cafeteria. (that's when his punishment went from 2 days suspension to 10)
@Blazing15 (333)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I believe the school went a little far. I think they should have just warned the boys that if they find something like this again then they need to come and get a teacher. I feel that it is not the children's fault. It's not like they were flashing it around and threatening other people with it. I too understand the zero tolerance rule but the child did not bring the knife to school he found it on the playground and then thought hey my mom would like this and then both boys kinda wanted to give it to their moms so that's how it all got started.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
The other little boy didnt get in any trouble, because it was in my sons bookbag and not his.
1 person likes this
@natalie1981 (2002)
• Singapore
13 Apr 07
Oh, this is definitely severe. If I were in your shoes I'd definitely sue them. So what if the punishment is over? It was their negligence in the first place that got the boy in trouble. What if your boy decided to play with the knife and got hurt instead of bringing it with him, he wouldn't be suspended, in fact, the school would be kissing your feet right now begging you not to sue them. Besides, this could go on your son's school records and would follow him even if he transfers to a different school.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
16 Apr 07
I was thinking about taking all the papers he has with all the suspensions that they've given him and then retracted and going to see an attorney just because of all the problems he has now which I believe that the school has needlessly caused him.
@Marie2473 (8523)
• Sweden
14 Apr 07
This is a dificult one. I do sympatize with you, however I also understand the school. With all the things going on they must have a 0 tolerance policy and therefor he also needs to be punished. Maybe 10 days was a little hard but this will probably learn him that the next time he will tell a teacher instead of keeping it in his possesion. I am sorry though and I hope that it will work out for all of you!