Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2" Pocket Knife = 20 Day Suspension

Fox News: "A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a survival kit in his car.

Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh Senior High School, says he follows the Boy Scout motto and is always prepared
Whalen said he doesn't know who might have said he was carrying a knife, but he was open with school officials.

"And they said, 'Do you own a knife?' I said, 'Yes, I'm a soldier and an Eagle Scout — I own a knife.'

"And they were like, 'Well, is it in your car or anything?' And I told them, 'Yeah, it's in my car right now.'

"And they asked me to show it to them. I didn't realize it was going to be a problem. I knew it wasn't illegal — my police chief grandfather gave the knife to me."

Whalen said he took school administrators to his car because he thought their fears would be allayed when they saw it was just a 2-inch knife.

"They thought I had a dagger in my car or something like that, so I thought yeah, I'd show it to them," Whalen said.

"I showed it to them, and they told me I had a knife on school property and had to be suspended."

Its things like this that make me feel like a prematurely grumpy old man.
I'm an eagle scout. At any given time, you are likely to find at least one pocket knife on me, today, 2. Saturday, I had 3 on me.
I have my Leatherman Charge AL, which I love dearly. Been through fire and ice and heaven and hell with me, and is a toolbox on the hip any day of the week.
I have my Victorinox Recruit, a small swiss army knife that does wonders, and is eminently pockitable.
I have my Shrade jack knife, an amazingly durable jack knife I picked up at one of the middle-of-no-where gas stations that are unique to a texas road trip.

At many times, I have had these in situations where people recoil in shock and horror at the presence of sharp steel blade safely folded away. I don't understand it, and I don't understand how a young man with a 2'' blade in his car is any threat to anyone in a school.

Knives don't hurt people, people hurt people.


  1. Yet another reason not to send my kids to public schools. Not that I needed another.

  2. It's yet another illustration of how "zero tolerance" policies allow for zero common sense.

    Watching O'Reilly just now, they mentioned this story, and in the same segment, they also discussed a woman who hired a man to "abort" her unborn child by kicking her repeatedly in the abdomen. That was perfectly legal (in Utah), while this poor kid gets the book thrown at him. That's where we are as a country.

    I wish someone would inform these school administrators that stupidity is a dangerous weapon, too.

  3. i carried a knife in high school, to school, in classes... thats what carrying a knife means.
    and i was open with it: strapped to the outside of my boot (i thought it was cool to carry a knife that way. hey, it was a long time ago, ok?)

    it usually came out at lunch time (and often got passed around) to open a bag of chips or something like that.

    it was a private school even, and nobody ever showed any concerns about it.

  4. I wish I hadn't seen this right before bed time. Stories about the 'pansy-fication' of America's young men and boys always get me worked up.

  5. Ah yes, I'm an old pocket-knife man, myself. Grandpa Crankbait gave me my first when I was a boy and insisted I get in the habit of carrying one, and I pretty much have. Had a few interesting moments in school, too, but things were different back in the day.

    I think all the G.O.M. ought to get some of those new-fangled pocket-knives, though; the ones that come with a spell-checker!

  6. I carry a Leatherman micra. Tiny little knife, but I use the thing pretty much every day for some task or another. Zero tolerance = zero thinking = 100% stupidity.

  7. Victorinox Spartan, previously a Leatherman, and before that another Victorinox. This is one of many, many reasons I don't send my children to the government's schools.

  8. zero tolerance came in the last couple of years I was in high school ... somehow they never got around to suspending the top student in the class when she (me that would be) took out her 2" jackknife and sharpened her pencil during class ...

    ... but I hear the year after I left they did actually crack down.

    I didn't tell them I knew about a gun one kid kept in his car. I actually think I probably *should* have told about that, because I didn't trust that kid's friends ... and guns are a long-range weapon.