Tony Richard, a 17-year-old senior at Blaine High School in Blaine, Minnesota, works 20 hours a week at a local grocery store, where he uses a retractable razor blade to break down boxes for recycling. One day after work, he tossed the box cutter into his car, which he later drove to school. Anyone familiar with "zero tolerance" insanity can already guess where this story is heading: Richard was suspended from school, and may be expelled, for bringing a "weapon" onto campus. School officials say their hands were tied:
The policy flatly says any student found in violation will be immediately suspended, and expulsion proceedings will be launched automatically.
Tony has spent his entire high school career at Blaine, and the sum total of his behavioral mishaps until now were three marks for being tardy. That had no bearing on the school's decision to banish him.
The staff at Blaine High, Schwartz explained, has no leeway in such matters once a weapon is found on school property. These cases are referred directly to the school board regardless of circumstances.
[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]