Zero Tolerance

Odious District Expels Teen Girl For Carrying Grandpa's Pocketknife

"I'm disgusted."

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Haynes
Detroit News / Youtubr

More "zero tolerance" injustice, this time from the Dearborn Heights school district in Detroit, Michigan. Atiya Haynes, an honors students and college-bound 17-year-old, was emerging from the bathroom at a high school football game when school officials decided to search her. (It's not clear why this was done, but I take it that such searches are merely routine at school events—in other words, there was no specific suspicion that Haynes had done something wrong.)

Officials found a pocketknife in Haynes' purse. She told them she had forgotten that she was carrying the knife, which was a gift from her grandfather. In a sane world, it would be completely reasonable for her to carry a pocketknife for protection; she biked long distances across southwest Detroit to get to her job last summer, for instance.

But because it is illegal to carry any weapon on school grounds for any reason—even with good reason, or by accident—she was promptly expelled. The Board of Education eventually relented, but only slightly: Haynes is still suspended for the rest of the year, but will be able to take online classes and graduate. That's hardly an improvement, given that Haynes is actively involved in extracurricular activities at her school.

Understandably, Haynes was not satisfied with the final verdict, according to The Detroit News:

"I'm disgusted," she said. "I can't believe that … no empathy. Put your child in this situation. Every time you forget your keys to your house, think of me. Think of this honest mistake. I'm a human being. I'm 17 years old. It's disgusting that you can sleep at night knowing that you can potentially ruin somebody's life."

"Every discipline issue that comes to us as a school board is a blow to a student," said. Tim Thieken, District 7 superintendent. "I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time, as a school board, we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan."

Haynes is the latest in a long line of kids whose bright futures were put on hold—if not ruined—by absurd, vindictive "zero tolerance" policies. And she certainly won't be the last.

Laws that criminalize harmless accidents and self-protection are not worth upholding.

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  1. But who will they use for rape bait?

  2. I wonder she’ll ever realize what a gift these disgusting little people accidentally gave her.

    1. Haynes told Fox 2 that this is a minor setback and that she will overcome it to become a broadcast journalist.

      Doubt it.

      1. If she’s savvy and smart, she should be able to utilize this PR backlash against the school to help her achieve her journalism goals.

        1. If she’s savvy and smart she won’t fit into the mainstream moron media.

          1. If she’s savvy and smart she won’t fit into the mainstream moron media become a broadcast journalist.

  3. I have to be mindful to keep my key chain in my pocket when at a public school since I have a small lock blade on it that could get me arrested.

  4. “Every discipline issue that comes to us as a school board is a blow to a student,” said. Tim Thieken, District 7 superintendent. “I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time, as a school board, we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan.”

    Oh fuck you.

    1. we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold

      I tried to think of a comment, but the irony speaks for itself.

    2. You know who else was just following orders?

        1. The correct answer is Basil Fawlty.

          Dante Hicks would also be an acceptable answer.

      1. Brad Hamilton?

      2. Your mother?

        1. But with the gusto she went at it, you could tell she liked following those orders.

    3. Since thinking is apparent a disadvantage for this position, I say we replace Tim Thieken, District 7 superintendent, with a surplus ED-209 unit and call it day.

      1. Just give ‘ol Tim the pocket knife, tell him to drop it and give him 20 seconds to comply.

    4. Ignore everything after the “but”

    5. They must be the only public employees in Michigan that do.

    6. Sideways with a pocket knife.

      1. Make sure its rusty.

  5. Let’s put ourselves in the administrators’ position. They have a duty to look at the entire student body when considering the safety of their jobs and make as few personal judgment calls as possible.

    1. ^This

      The reason all these 0 tolerance rules exist is because it gives the administrators an easy out. They don’t have to tell some parent that yes, their kid is being suspended because they are a thug and was caught with a real weapon. And yes, it is true that we let some young honor student who was found with a knife off with a warning. You know why? Because your kid was a menace and the other kid wasn’t. Deal with it.

      After all those administrators didn’t claw their way out of the classroom (and away from those snotty kids) just to get screwed by making a bad call. No, they became an administrator so they could spend the next 10-15 years safely tucked away in their office avoiding all responsibility.

    2. If I were in the administrator’s position, I’d be enormously embarrassed for the application of such a putrid policy. I’d also be able to recognize that there are thousands of objects at every school in the country that are far more dangerous than a pocket knife. And if this policy were applied as it was in this case, the next day I would cite every administrator and teacher at the school for bringing a weapon (their cars) and send them all home, because, well, you know, the policy has to be enforced.

  6. It’s actually illegal to have a knife on school property? What if someone needs to, say, open a box or cut some food? They have to leave school property?

    I don’t think I went to school without a knife from about age 8. And in high school, even though there was a rule against it, teachers would leave me be or just tell me to be careful if they saw that I had it because they knew I wasn’t doing anything dangerous with it.

    1. (old man voice) Back in my day us boy scouts were encouraged to carry pocket knives!

      1. Yeah, but this kid with a knife is dangerously black and the only thing more terrifying than a black with a knife is a Mexican with a knife. If she had been Mexican they probably would have just shot her.

        1. Oh shit, you’re right! How could I -not- smell the uppity?

          1. She was a honor student going to college…

            That kind of uppity has to be nipped in the bud.

        2. “You just fucked with the wrong Mexican.”

      2. Not without your Totin’ Chip card, though!

      3. I carried a switchblade to school every day for most of seventh and eighth grade, because I thought it looked cool. In ninth grade, I started carrying a much higher-quality pocket knife, which I still have.

        None of my teachers ever freaked out if I pulled out my knife to open a cardboard box or whatever.

        -jcr

    2. “It’s actually illegal to have a knife on school property? What if someone needs to, say, open a box or cut some food? They have to leave school property?”

      No, don’t be silly – these rules are not appled equally to all.

      Here’s my question: Do they also ban from scool property all scissors, letter openers, flat-head screwdrivers, etc.? I know the answer is no. Those would have to be banned in complement to actually reduce student access to potential weapons.

      There is no thinking here, only “following the law because the state will uphold us upholding the laws upheld by all who uphold the law.”

      1. That’s the stupidest part of considering knives as weapons. There are tons of ordinary objects that could be used just as effectively to stab or cut someone.

        1. True story.

          I was stabbed with a pencil in third grade, and it hadn’t even recently been sharpened.

          1. True embarrassing story.

            I freshly sharpened a pencil in 6th grade, stopped at the water-fountain to drink, and stabbed myself in the cheek.

            Pencil was sharp as a razor. Think I hit bone.

        2. I’m not defending the policy, because it is stupid, but the policy does cover these instances. If you use a tool, or other item in a way that makes it a weapon, they will apply the same zero tolerance to you.

          At another school, a fight broke out and a kid flipped a desk at another student (not up high, or with a lot of force, just jumped up and flipped it toward the kid). This student was expelled under the same policy. The fighting would have probably gotten him suspended, but as soon as he “turned the desk into a weapon” his fate was Zero-T Sealed. The schools deal with this by approving all the stuff like paper cutters, scissors (which by the way, kids generally aren’t allowed to have with them unless they are the plastic duplo kind) and other potentially weaponized tools on a case by case basis, determining if they are more a tool than a weapon. Anything that doesn’t make that cut is forbidden with a capital Zero-T and the ones that do make it on grounds become Zero-T weapons as soon as a student “wields” it in a threatening way.

          So, they are at least logically consistent, if dumbass and evil.

          1. They would be consistent if they applied the same to knives, which are almost always used as non-weapons.

          2. That’s INSANE! No fucking way that a pocket knife is primarily a weapon any more than a book, a chair or a pencil is primarily a weapon.

            Maybe their argument would have SOME validity if she’d been packing a Ka-Bar, a sharpened Samurai sword or a BAR… but grandpa’s pocket knife?

            So they’re not “logically consistent” at ANY level. If they were, they’d apply the, “something is not a weapon if it has any other use – until such time as it is actually USED as a weapon” test – and there would have been nothing said or done in this case.

        3. You can do a whole lot more damage to someone with a chair than a 6″ knife if your intention is to cause mayhem.

          -jcr

    3. I was taking some adult ed electronics class at a local high school as while back, and at some point the teacher noticed the little lock blade I have on my keys. He told me to keep it hidden, since it could get me arrested.

      1. Exactly what should have happened in this case if sane people were present.

    4. How do they cook the food in the cafeteria without knives?

      1. The MyPlate button, of course!

        1. MyPlate.gov button. God, FtT, GET IT RIGHT!

          1. QUIT FUCKING YELLING!

            You are quite correct, however. My mistake.

      2. Under Michelle Obama’s new rules, the cafeteria is no longer cooking things that may be called food.

    5. It’s actually illegal to have a knife on school property?

      I doubt it. Odds are Robby conflated school policy with “THE LAW”(*).

      (*) Thanks. Now I have Paul Rodgers in my head.

  7. Her comment was very well-said for a teenager – she nailed it. “How can you sleep at night?”

  8. Ultimately, these kids will be stronger for having been fucked by the state at such an early age. The reliance and trust won’t be there as a crutch, an impediment to their development and prosperity.

    1. Ultimately, these kids will be stronger for having been fucked by the state at such an early age. The reliance and trust won’t be there as a crutch, an impediment to their development and prosperity.

      You say this, yet I’m suspicious. What’s to say they won’t grow up to become that which they hate to exact revenge upon the powerless?

      It’s specifically these types of situations that lead to craving power.

    2. Perhaps, and I do agree the district has basically been given themselves enough rope to hang themselves in terms of student perception. But I cannot see this outcome as a “good thing”. A silver lining on an unreasonable and inappropriate punishment is little consolation.

  9. It’s disgusting that you can sleep at night knowing that you can potentially ruin somebody’s life.”

    Q F T

  10. “The Board of Education eventually relented, but only slightly: Haynes is still suspended for the rest of the year, but will be able to take online classes and graduate.”

    Careful, school board, you might be giving the public the idea that it’s possible to get an education at home, without coming to your school and going through all your BS.

  11. If I am biking around Detroit, I might want something other than a pocket knife.

    1. Like this?

      http://www.saabgroup.com/en/La…..on_system/

      1. Is that one of those if you have to ask you can’t afford it systems?

        1. Those are designed to be disposable, so they’re (relatively) cheap.

          1. No, the Carl Gustaf is re-usable. The AT-4 is the disposable version of said implement.

            It would be a little akward to carry on your bike, though. Maybe a brace of MP5PKs would be better for the bicycle.

    2. If I’m on a bike in Detroit, it’s to get the fuck out of Detroit.

      1. Wait, new reality show.

        Drop someone off in the middle of Detroit with a bicycle and a pocket knife. They win $10,000 (and get to live) if they can pedal their way outside of the city.

        1. Biking Man?

      2. Detroit? Take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to Be Sure.

  12. Police State= perfectly sane and safe

    Pocketknife= insane killing device.

    Fucking savages who worship/fear totems is what they are.

  13. Where the hell are the race mongers when they might actually do some good? If we are going to have the race card constantly played anyway, can’t we play it in a case where white people are actually screwing a black kid? Sure, they would do the same to a white person. Since when have the facts gotten in the way of the race mongers?

    1. Didn’t Jesse Jackson come to the aid of some black kids who were in a full-on brawl on school property?

      But yeah, never mind the girl suspended for a pocketknife.

      1. They will go to ends of the earth to defend the worst sorts of scum like Trayvon Martin but they won’t lift a finger to help people like this girl who really are being victimized. I just don’t get it.

        1. Yes you do. If they lifted a finger, they’d contradict the very power their authority is derived from. And that is sacrilegious.

          1. Sad but true. As Bryan puts it below.

        2. Exactly. In Shaneen Allen’s case you could hear crickets chirping if you were waiting to hear something from Jackson or Sharpton. If they really actually cared, they’d have been shouting just as loud about her persecution by the law.

          1. You always hear the story about how the NCAAP chose Rosa Parks to go get arrested because she was such a perfect and sympathetic victim.

            This girl is much the same way. She is adorable and seems like a perfectly fine kid. You can’t get a bigger contrast between her and the prick superintendent. And they won’t say a word. Assholes.

            1. There are nuances here that you clearly don’t understand. The Detroit school district is a power center for Black Americans. The Dearborn Heights district maintains that power. It has been discussed, right here on these boards, that anything or anyone who questions the policies of any Detroit public office is racist.

              Plus, weapons. Weapons in schools. School shootings. The Dearborn school district is at least Doing Something about this pandemic of violence. Eggs, Omelettes.

              And lastly, an unjust, overreaching law or policy which in the service of fixing an out-of-control problem is a necessary step.

              All students should feel the icy stab of fear when they enter the school. If it prevents some school violence down the road, so be it.

    2. Your black race mongers and your white school board fascists are all on the same side. They just specialize in different targets.

      1. ding ding ding. We have a winner!

      2. I suspect that the school board fascists are blacks who realized that they’re fine with instilling learned helplessness in black children as a profession, since it pays the bills and gives them prestige in the community. After all, they’re Just Trying To Help.

      3. If the perp is in fact harmless, you have to come down hard so that you can boost your objectivity bona fides. i.e. no one gets special treatment.

        If the perp is in fact dangerous, you have to be lenient so as to boost your empathy bona fides. i.e. the underprivileged cannot be held to the same standard.

        It’s a feature, not a bug and it’s plainly visible 10 out of 10 times.

  14. “I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time, as a school board, we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan.”

    What’s the law in the state of Michigan regarding a pocket knife in your purse?

    1. They’re illegal! That’s why nobody carries knives!

      Just like murder is illegal and therefore nobody commits murder!

    2. And if we’re upholding the laws of the state of Michigan, what was the probable cause for the search of her purse?

      1. Schools are “rights free” zones.

      2. Chapter F, Section Y, Clause T(w) of the Penal Code.

    3. And further, when is the School Board both an enforcement and judical arm of the state?

  15. “I think that she presented her case tonight but at the same time, as a school board, we are upheld by the state of Michigan to uphold the laws of the state of Michigan.”

    This guy “runs” the school district. They should be able to find him a spot in one of their English as a Second Language classes.

  16. it would be completely reasonable for her to carry a pocketknife for protection; she biked long distances across southwest Detroit to get to her job last summer, for instance.

    You know what? FUCK THAT.

    it would be completely reasonable for her to carry a pocketknife

    Period; THE END.

  17. It’s not about a pocket knife. It’s about teaching children to comply with laws no matter what. Don’t think, just do as you’re told.

  18. An intelligent black girl with a good school record who forgot to obsess over the rules one day gets expelled.

    A feature, not a bug. #wontfix

    They have no intention of creating healthy, functioning minority students. They intend to fail, because succeeding would cost them power.

    1. Someone should give her a scholarship to a private school, as a middle finger to the state.

      1. I’ve seen private schools act equally stupid. Most school administrators don’t give a fuck about students or parents.

  19. I’m going to go ahead and Boudreaux this for you:

    Laws Legislation that criminalizes harmless accidents and self-protection is not worth upholding.

  20. Anytime you are released from the public school morass, it is a good thing. The less time they have to damage your brain, the better for you. This young woman will do better for the experience, once she sees what’s outside the walls of the prison she was taught to love.

  21. Ronny, school officials cannot (legally) search a student just because they decided to do .

    Such searches are not ‘just routine’. As you ‘take it’

    School officials need ‘reasonable suspicion’ to search a student. Thus, they have to meet a lower standard of suspicion to search (a student) than cops do

    Yes, cops can make terry stops based on RS and if they have sufficient ‘frisk factors’ frisk somebody w:o PC, but a frisk is much more limited than a search, in scope, in invasiveness, etc

    Sometimes is school official will need probable cause to search such as when they are acting as agents of the police

    In some schools they search students upon entering the game such as at the gate to the event they will have a policy where they’ll look through backpacks and do a metal detector check or something like that

    But no they can just search a kid on a whim after she exits.a bathroom, as in this case

    In patrol it’s not unusual for a school to call the police to respond after some sort of search based on reasonable suspicion resulted in discovery of a gun, drugs, etc

    One of the first things I do before talking to the student is make sure that the school official did have RS because IF they did not I’m not going to get dragged into assisting after the fact by taking over custody of the student if the initial search was bogus

    1. Apparently they can, because they did.

  22. such searches are merely routine at school events

    Probably routine at any time “on school grounds” too. That is the part I find most disgusting about all this – the treatment of kids like common criminals. I’m trying to imagine my ’80s HS being like this, and failing. It is just unbelievable.

    1. You have to use lube and patience to penetrate that deep.

      I started high school in ’79 – teachers would have been beat-up for this stuff.

    2. They are not ‘ just routine’

      This is that school officials need reasonable suspicion to search a kid

      I’m not talking about at the entrance to the event where of course they can disallow people at the event to bring backpacks in without searching them and stuff like that but they cannot just randomly take a kid and search him for no reason

      1. Is this the part where we pretend that “reasonable suspicion” means anything more than dick anymore?

      2. Is getting a dog to bark .. errr .. I mean … “alert” enough for reasonable suspicion in your fantasy word?

        What if it’s a chihuahua? Would it still count?

      3. Legally they shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean they cannot.

  23. Total obedience is king. Intelligence be damned.

  24. Do you really expect these people to be able to use common sense to make decisions? I mean, the government has put them in charge or your childrens education. They are allowed to strip search them for aspirin whenever they want. It’s way too important to leave any room for common sense!

  25. Is a pocket knife a weapon or a tool?

    I think it is a tool; not unlike a pencil sharpener (I remember using a pen knife in grammar school to sharpen pencils, gently scrape dried ink off of a pen nib and carve my initials along with all the others inside my desk top), a wrench, hammer and eating utensils.

    I withdraw my consent from any government that thinks a pocket knife is a weapon.

    1. I doesn’t matter if it’s a weapon or tool. They high priests of the state have deemed that it carries raycist teabagger transgressive cooties. That is all that matters.

  26. #POCKETKNIVESMEANSASSAULTWEAPONS

  27. my friend’s sister makes $83 an hour on the laptop . She has been fired for ten months but last month her payment was $12435 just working on the laptop for a few hours
    Find Out More. ???????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  28. Curious about context here. Any idea whether there had been an incident with the knife? How else would should be searched?

  29. Who doesn’t carry a pocket knife ?

    I just realized that I’ve carried one every day for literally 50 years.

    1. That’s what I always think when I see stories like this. How can you not carry a knife?

      But, amazingly, among some people having a knife in your pocket is cause for suspicion and alarm. It just fucking boggles the mind. People have become so detached from practical reality that one of the most basic and essential tools a person can have is scary and unusual.

      1. Years ago I read a story by a dad in NYC who sent his two boys to summer camp. And he was so very concerned about them learning about knives. It was absurd. He conceded that having them learn to respect and safely handle a knife was a good thing. Yet exposing them to knives would somehow affect them. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make sense. Unless, as is pointed out here regularly, you are an animist that believes a knife has some totemistic power.

  30. That’ll teach her for trying to act white.

  31. Oh, boo hoo. Another stupid kid that can’t comprehend what ZERO tolerance means even though it’s been official policy of every stinking school district for 20 years. “Oh, I just forgot I had a knife”. Mmmm-hmmm.

    And if this little angel shanked some kid in the bathroom, the Reason.com forum peanut gallery would erupt with ‘OH THESE INEPT STATIST SLAVERS CAN’T EVEN KEEPS THE CHILDRENS SAFE1!!!11!!ONE”

    1. whatever point you are trying to make, I’m sure it’s stupid.

      1. The only point jmomis has is the one on top of his head.

  32. What about books, chairs, scissors? Can’t those all be used as weapons? And not only are they on school grounds, they’re provided by the school!

    Don’t think a chair is a weapon? I’d take on any member of the school board, let them take the pocket knife and beat them to death with the chair.

    So then we’d have a school with no chairs, no books, no scissors.

    What else can be a weapon? How about electricity? How about light bulbs? Any school board members want to have a light bulb smashed in their face? Do you have any automobiles on campus? Weapons. Is there any gasoline in them? Weapons. Is poison a weapon? Better not have any antifreeze in those (Detroit, MI) automobiles.

    Do they allow pointed sticks at the school? I mean, pencils? Pens? Let a school board member take the pocket knife against someone armed with a pair of mechanical pencils.

    Do they have vending machines at the school? Ever thought what it would be like to get smashed in the head with a sealed soda can?

    Are there any rocks on school grounds? Any pieces of wood? Baseball bats maybe?

    The point is, not only is the school policy unbearably stupid, but it’s not at all consistent and it’s certainly not “zero” tolerance. It’s really “sometimes intolerant” and “sometimes turning a blind eye.” And the ACLU should sue the living hell out of the school and destroy this stupidity once and for all.

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