A Florida tween has been suspended for bringing a knife to school. However, the offending item was a toddler’s knife that she used to cut her peaches.
As WPLG (Miami) reports, Ronald and Andrea Souto said their 11-year-old daughter, who has not been publicly identified, has used the same knife since she was old enough to hold it in her hand. Her mom explains that it couldn’t possibly be considered a weapon by any standard.
“This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one year old. It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was baby.”
Last week, she brought the knife to Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines. Her parents say she wanted to use it to cut her peaches to share with her classmates.
“She’s always trying to help someone. She’s always trying to share things,”
So, share she did when she cut one of her peaches in half with the knife. Then, according to her dad, she went to the bathroom. When she emerged from the bathroom, a school official was there to take her to the principal’s office.
Andrea and Ronald Souto are baffled that their 11-year-old honor-roll daughter is being punished for her small a… https://t.co/4zxluqDCXd
— Breaking News (@breakingnews740) November 17, 2016
According to The New York Daily News, school officials made the decision to suspend the girl for six days for violating the school’s weapons policy.
The Soutos’ daughter is not the first child to be suspended from school for bringing a harmless object onto school grounds. In fact, it happens pretty routinely. The culprit is the so-called “Zero Tolerance Policy” enacted after the Columbine school shooting. And it’s snared far more innocent kids than many parents are comfortable with.
For example, in Michigan, according to the Inquisitr, Kyler Davies, a seventh-grader at Legg Middle School in Coldwater, Michigan, bought a backpack at Goodwill, but he didn’t check it. The next school day, he packed his belongings in his backpack and brought it to school. However, once he got to school, he realized that the previous owner of the backpack had left a pocket knife in it. Kyler tried to do the right thing, and he took the knife to the school’s principal. But rather than praising him for doing the right thing, school officials suspended him for a year and threw him off the football team.
Similarly, in Georgia, a girl got suspended for bringing a knife to school because she wanted to protect herself from scary clowns. As the Inquisitr reported back in September at the height of last summer’s creepy clown craze, the Athens, Georgia girl was concerned after reports emerged of clowns terrorizing kids in the city.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 14, 2016
Back in Florida, the Soutos believe that school officials have grossly overreacted when it comes to their daughter, whom they said was an honor student who had never had any trouble at school before. And another Silver Trail parent, Melvin J. Smith, agrees.
“I think the principal should revisit this and everyone (should) sit down to the table, and let’s just say, ‘Don’t do it again.’ This is outrageous to go to that extreme.”
The school, meanwhile, declined to comment specifically on the issue, citing student privacy. But in a statement, Broward County school district spokeswoman said that the district is committed to student safety above all else.
“The school followed district policy regarding this incident and continues to work with the student and parents involved. It is the district’s priority to maintain safe and secure campuses for students and staff at all times.”
The school has turned the case over to the Pembroke Pines Police Department, which in turn turned its investigation over to the State Attorney’s Office. It is unclear, as of this writing, whether or not any criminal charges are going to be filed against the girl.
[Featured Image by Sandra van der Steen/Shutterstock]