But to the perceptive and highly-trained personnel of the Christina School District in Delaware, he looks more like public enemy no. 1:
Young Zachary did something so heinous, it took the brave men and women of the Christie School District to save us all. You see, Zachary brought this to school:
And that was all the ever-vigilant public servants needed to sentence young Zachary to 45 days in reform school.
Just who's the public enemy?
Here's the story (follow the link) courtesy of the NY Times. And here is the web site his parents set up to plead for help.
"Zero-tolerance"? Of what? Common sense? Good folks of the Christina School District, here's a clue: if the NY Times is rubbing its eyes in disbelief, it's time to undo the lobotomy.
Don Surber sees it as a "war on scouts."
Glenn Reynolds (the Instapudit) thinks "the excuses offered for this piece of idiocy are even more damning than the idiocy itself."
What do I think? It's just another day on another battlefield in our inexorable march toward tyranny. But the good news is the people still have enough power to set the powers-that-be back on their heels. Zachary's ordeal has a happy ending: the school board, under the glare of publicity, reprieved Zachary and let him back into school.
It's nice to know our public servants can indeed do the right thing when watched constantly and cornered like rats.
But there are stories very similar to this all over the country in which the ending is not quite so happy. The NYT article mentions "a third-grade girl [who] was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it. The teacher called the principal — but not before using the knife to cut and serve the cake." In New York, an Eagle scout was suspended for twenty days for having a two-inch pocket knife in his car.
When I was in high school, the knife would have been taken away and given back at the end of the year, end of story.
Overbearing, overreaching bureaucrats are like cockroaches: they do their damage in the dark and scatter when the light shines on them. And that's our job as American citizens: to shine that light. When the idiocy threshold is reached and common sense refuses to kick in, it's time for us to do the kicking.