Free-Range Kids

Student Suspended for Slicing Apple During Healthy Snacks Presentation


19 Action News

Da'von Shaw, a Bedford, Ohio high school student, brought apples and craisins to school for a "healthy eating" presentation he was giving to his speech class. He took out a knife to slice an apple, and I'm sure you can all guess what happened next:

"When I took out the knife the teacher then told me that I couldn't use it, so I didn't hesitate I just gave it to her," said Da'von.

He continued with his other classes, but late in the day was suspended for five days. The suspension letter charged him with having a weapon at school. 

His mother Shakila Wilson is angry, saying, "I can take off my belt and use that as a weapon. Pens and pencils can be used as a weapon. You can't take a person with no intentions to harm and put them as a criminal because that's what you normally do." 

She feels the punishment is too much, didn't take the circumstances into account and worries about her son missing classes and assignments.

At least he wasn't actually executed by the Bedford High School zero tolerance squad. But still, a five-day suspension for bringing a "weapon" to school is not inconsequential. Questioned by a reporter at 19 Action News, the superintendent suggested that Da'von's punishment could actually have been much worse: an entire year's suspension. I guess the school was being incredibly lenient when it decided not to put Da'von's life on hold for a year over nothing.

A while back, when we first started hearing about these zero tolerance follies, I might have sputtered something like, "What are we teaching kids when a school refuses to make any distinction between actual danger and normal life?" But now I realize: We are teaching kids precisely what they need to learn in a hyper-terrified society. They need to understand that society today refuses to distinguish between an infinitesimal risk and a huge one. Zero tolerance is perfect training.


Some day, if he doesn't do something crazy like bring a nailclipper to school, Da'von will graduate. Eventually, he will matriculate into American adulthood, where, if he wants an easy time of it, he will not roll his eyes when a TSA agent confiscates his 3.5 oz tube of Pepsodent, and not slam the door when a cop comes to investigate him for letting his son play at the park, unsupervised.

In other words: To get along as he goes along, Da'Von will be expected—required!—to accept safety hysteria as a way of life. As a high school student who sliced an apple without considering the enormous threat this posed to his fellow students, he failed. But after five days at home to reflect on what he did, perhaps he will be ready to become a good, quaking, danger-hallucinating American. 

NEXT: The Secret 'Isolationist' Majority That's Lurking Until After the Election

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  1. Questioned by a reporter at 19 Action News, the superintendent suggested that Da’von’s punishment could actually have been much worse: an entire year’s suspension.

    “See? We could have gone completely out-of-our-minds apeshit. But we didn’t. You’re welcome.”

    1. “We could have called the cops. What do you think they would have done to a black kid with a knife?”

      1. Shot his dog, if he wasn’t careful.

        1. It looked like a pitbull mix which made me fear for my life. Also it went for my gun.

          1. Also it went for my gun.

            It was at that time my service weapon fired.


            1. Actually, It was reaching for its waistband!

  2. I wonder if the growing occurrence of idiotic actions taken by teachers and administrators will finally sour enough people on the whole government-controlled public education monopoly.

    1. Prediction: No. No, it won’t.

      1. Prediction: These same mindless rule-followers will take over ALL of health care, and surgeons will not be allowed to have knives, either…

    2. But if they’re that tough on a kid with a paring knife, imagine how tough they’d be on a real weapon. God bless our heroic and wise public school administrators.

      1. If there was a kid with a real weapon, they’d probably just shit themselves and shelter in place.

        1. “Shelter in place” seems to be growing in popularity as a euphemism for “cowering and grovelling like a whipped stray dog”.

          1. Yes. Yes it is.

          2. No, it means stay where the killer can find you easily. Trying to defend yourself may result in inconvenience to others. Avoid that at all cost.

    3. But after five days at home to reflect on what he did, perhaps he will be ready to become a good, quaking, danger-hallucinating American.

      Or maybe even become a libertarian?

      I’m skeptical. With the way Common Core is being going, I think it’s all downhill.

    4. Remember how the freakanomics guys postulated that drop in crime starting in the 90s was attributed to Roe v Wade nearly a generation previous? Now imagine the impact these 0 tolerance policies will have on the sheeple in another dozen years or so…

    5. too many people addicted to the idea of “free education”
      Truth of the matter is that we are all paying for it and it is ruining the country. Low quality and no accountability – draconian and nonsense policies.
      Privatize schools with a voucher system. Only way to save future generations fron the black hole that is government socialist education

      1. Agreed. The only “free education” should be an online-only, extremely basic skills primer (reading, writing, basic math and science, basic geography). Offered only in English.

        We should not be paying for school buildings, facilities, or busing for the basic, “free” education.

        Also, free education should not cater to special autistic rock-eating snowflakes who are not expected to work and contribute to society. If your kid is too speshl to sit still and complete basic free education, for whatever reason, you get a voucher and apply to a private school that caters to your precious little bed-wetting Timmay, or you seek charity.

        Government education shouldn’t be a free gift to people just for the deeply un-special skill of grunting out babies; it’s an investment in your kid’s potential to work and contribute to the economy. Unfortunately, a century of entitlement culture combined with government efforts to socialize childrearing have deluded parents into thinking public school was designed to be some sort of surrogate parent, which it never was.

        In my state, public education sucks up 40% of property taxes, and graduates about the same percentage of kids. The amount of waste on special programs, non-educational dross, and feel-good horseshit for kids who are never going to be independent contributors is staggering.

  3. I’m beginning to suspect that sending your children to public school, maybe that should be used as evidence against you in a custody battle.

    I’m just sayin’.

    I mean, I’m not saying that people should call CPS on you just for sending your kids to a public school, but I’m not saying they shouldn’t either.

    It looks pretty abusive.

    You certainly shouldn’t send your kids back to the same public school after they’ve psychologically and emotionally abused your kids this way–and what the school did to this kid sure looks like psychological and emotional abuse to me.

    1. A friend of mine who was underemployed helped chaperone a couple of grammar school field trips.

      Shortly thereafter he pulled his kids out of public school and he and his wife started homeschooling.

  4. I’m not normally given to violence but I’d enjoy seeing some of these brain-dead school administrators thrown smack into the middle of a Dog Brothers stick fight.

  5. Blah, blah, when I was their age, etc.

    If kids these days had any balls they would all start carrying knives to school. Can’t really suspend everyone, that wouldn’t look good.

    Get off my lawn.

    1. But they don’t (have any balls).

      And neither do their parents.

  6. So, a new Peak Retard is reached.

    How soon will we see, who will create the next peak, and how high will it be?!

    I can’t wait!

    /I can wait

  7. It’s not ALL danger that we go apeshit over, it’s the currently popular danger. It’s like the ebola madness. Ebola is very similar to another virus – HIV. Imagine the blowback if you suggested everyone exposed to HIV be quarantined until the incubation period was over. How about a REAL threat – tuberculosis? It is resurgent in many 3rd world shit hole countries, but there is no outcry to suspend flights to those countries.

    1. …”Ebola is very similar to another virus – HIV.”…

      Yeah, that’s the reason they have to treat those with aids from inside protective suits, right?

      1. Similar…NOT identical.
        Both are transmitted by bodily fluids, rather than airborne particles.
        Thus, both are most dangerous when there is direct human contact.
        Of course, ebola is transmitted when the carrier is symptomatic, while HIV can be transmitted by carriers who are not only asymptomatic, but are not even sick.
        And, btw, if I were working on an AIDS ward, I might welcome a protective suit.

    2. They are both RNA viruses, but that’s about as much as they have in common.

    3. How about MRSA, which due to hospital employee negligence kills more people than firearms and drunk driving per year combined.

  8. Has anyone else ever wondered if overbearing rulings like this are the actually cause of violent outbreaks to occur since people are left with no other choice. There is no middle anymore which is amazing since the people who are making these rules keep telling us that there is no black and white answers but only grey areas in between

  9. I wonder what would happen if we took the same zero-tolerance approach to incompetent and ineffective teachers and administrators.

    Actually, I don’t wonder.

  10. How do they have home ec class without sharp objects? Cooking lessons must be limited to instructions on opening and plating bags of potato chips. Sewing lessons must focus on using adhesive patches, or maybe the best way to fold pleated pants.

    1. What do you mean, home ec classes, you patriarchal cisnormative shitlord oppressor?


      1. Do they still have home-ec classes?

        I loved mine. I was in a group of people who already knew how to cook pretty well, so we just sort of hung out and made ourselves breakfast most days.

    2. Gee, that’s a tough one.
      Maybe it’s because the kids don’t walk out of the home-ec classroom with the knives in their possession?
      I have to believe Da’von(really? what does the apostrophe represent being omitted? MF?) wasn’t going to run home with his knife, when the class was over.

    3. The edges of thoose foil bags can give you a nasty paper cut, and don’t even bring up the sharp edge on the top of a can of Pringles!

  11. I brought a clothes iron to school in high school. Specifically to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

    I’m trying to think how that could turned into a weapon, but these people are way better at mental gymnastics than I am.

    1. Well, that’s pretty obvious. Especially if the cord was strong enough to swing the iron on.

    2. I’m trying to think how that could turned into a weapon

      So I take it you’re not a Boardwalk Empire fan then?

      1. So I take it you’re not a Boardwalk Empire fan then?

        Or Layer Cake.

  12. I’m trying to think how that could turned into a weapon,

    Its heavy, its got a handle, and its got a pointy end. Seems pretty obvious to me.

    1. And it reaches temperatures of 400 degrees.

  13. Shakila ought to do the community a favor and spin this as an attack by white authoritarians on a Black kid. As usual in such spins, the actual race of the school administrators is irrelevant, but the race factor might get some results.

  14. Ooh, zero tolerance nazis vs. “healthy” food nazis. This kid should call Michelle Obama and let the blood fly.

  15. The kid is probably better off not being in school for the five days anyway.
    If my kid got suspended for a week, we’d take a trip someplace.
    Idiot bureaucrats.

  16. Knife schmife. How dare he bring those little poisonous apple seeds into a school?

  17. In a reasonable society, knives in schools would be normal–like they are in many Montessori programs. How are children going to learn to responsibly handle potentially dangerous things, from knives to fire, if they aren’t taught how?

    In my children’s Montessori elementary classroom for ages 5-9, the day starts with the children cutting up a fruit or vegetable they brought for a shared snack. The teachers taught them how to handle sharp knives responsibly–how to make a “claw hand” to protect their finger tips; how to hold small pieces between thumb and pointer and cut between the thumb and pointer, how to use leverage of a whole hand on top of the blade to cut through tough vegetables like carrots. They learn that knives can be “jealous:” if you talk with your friends while you us a knife, the knife may cut you, so you really should give it your full attention! These elementary children are fully capable of using knives safely, every day.

    Here’s a great article that explains how these type of potentially dangerous tools are responsibly introduced in a Montessori environment:

  18. But that isn’t the whole story…. apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, along with a small pairing knife one can easily see why this kid was such a threat.

    1. Our body can handle the small amount of cyanide in apple seeds. Still not a threat.

  19. Here is the email address for Bedford High School:

    1. Nice. Now they are going to be inundated with emails that only read “f*&K off, slaver!”

      1. I don’t know why that would be the verbage. But that’s the point, right now, they think we’ll all have a good chuckle and go away. They need to know people care, and I think that will get their attention.

  20. Home school, baby!

  21. Also very impressed with the language that this is framed in.

    “What are we teaching kids when a school refuses to make any distinction between actual danger and normal life?”


  22. This is absolutely fucking moronic. To the point: who is the retard that wrote this headline? Seriously, the writer of this headline should be fired for sheer fucking stupidity.

    The headline says:
    ‘Student Suspended for Slicing Apple…’

    The article says:
    “When I took out the knife the teacher then told me that I couldn’t use it, so I didn’t hesitate I just gave it to her,” said Da’von.”

    I mean, really, what kind of imbeciles work for this website?

    1. Read the sentence before it:

      He took out a knife to slice an apple, and I’m sure you can all guess what happened next:

      1. Uhhhh, yeah he took out the knife to slice the apple. Nowhere does it say he sliced the apple, dummy. In fact it’s pretty clear, from what he said, that he never got to the slicing stage.

        1. “I mean, really, what kind of imbeciles work for this website?”

          Well Choad we can plainly see at least one imbecile who make’s comments on this website. That Choad is you.

        2. Headlines are a short summary. OK fine, It could’ve said Student suspended for considering to slice an apple, but headlines are written that way. They don’t have to be that precise, most people get the point. More to the point, the story is more about the overreaction for “considering to slice an apple”. However, for some reason this is not what you are focused on. You’re more concerned that a headline is not 100% technically correct, than the fact that a student was suspended even after giving the knife back. He did exactly what the teacher said and was not defiant, there was no reason for the extreme measures taken.

          1. Oops, aren’t written that way is what I meant.

          2. No, I’m concerned that an article which is about a child being suspended for carrying a weapon (which angers me and I think is outrageous,) is misunderstood by the headline sub-editor as being about a child mistreating an apple. That too would be outrageous, but…

            Is it so unreasonable to be dismayed that an article about an overreaching assault on weapons rights should be portrayed as an article about an overreaching assault on apple rights?

            1. Is it also SO unreasonable to wish that the headline sub-editor for a publication like Reason, of which I am an avid reader, would have a decent level of reading comprehension and a decent idea of what Reason readers support? (i.e. weapons rights, not the right to cut an apple in class.)

          3. and to respond to this comment: “You’re more concerned that a headline is not 100% technically correct, than the fact that a student was suspended even after giving the knife back.”

            My original comment/complaint was about the headline and how it didn’t represent the article properly. I am completely sympathetic to the article. Why can’t I be massively disappointed that a sub retarded imbecile writes the headlines?

          4. Another thing I disagree with you on: OK fine, It could’ve said Student suspended for considering to slice an apple, but headlines are written that way. They don’t have to be that precise, most people get the point.

            NO NO NO. A proper headline for this article would be along the lines of ‘Student performed for taking out unsheathed knife in class and was suspended despite immediately after handing it over to the teacher.’ That sums up every thing that outrages me about the article. A child slicing an apple is completely uninteresting to me as is a Healthy Snacks Presentation whatever the fuck that is.

            So, why a headline like ‘Student Suspended for Slicing Apple During Healthy Snacks Presentation’? Unless they thought it was more important to attract supporterss of PETA (people for the ethical treatment of Apples) than supporters of weapons rights.

            1. you’re supposed to infer that the suspension was for the knife, not the cutting of the apple, you fucking moron. Who would read the headline and think it’s for just cutting an apple, as opposed to the carrying the knife, which is usually the target of zero tolerance policies?

  23. Fucking Christ on a pogo stick !!! When I was in High School I always carried at least two pocket knives. I also carried a knife kit, because I worked at a restaurant after school. Also, nine times out of ten. I would skip detention. Being late for work was not an option. If I went to school in this day, and age. I would have ended up as a reprobate.

  24. NOPE!
    This just sounds like a kid trying to get one over on the school. I’ll wager knives were, specifically, mentioned as contraband in the rules of conduct most kids are required to read.
    Are REASON readers OK with kids running around with knives? Too small to be a threat? 9/11/01 was done with box-cutters.
    What was he going to do with it after the class? And why does one have to cut open an apple in a presentation on “healthy eating? Didn’t think the rest of the kids knew what an apple was?

    1. Fucktard, generations of kids have been going to school with knives. Job-justifying school administrators have only created zero-tolerance policies banning knives for Millenial kids.

      School kids are not the same as Islamofascist terrorists. The idea that schools must be zero-risk environments is ridiculous, not to mention impossible. These half-assed attempts at an impossible zero-risk environment are implemented through fascism, and they obviously aren’t working.

      If you demand that your children’s education be conducted in a zero-risk environment, wrap them in bubble wrap, and homeschool them.

  25. This is actually good news. Perhaps some kid with a big set of balls will realize how ripe the education system is for a total implosion. Students of the world unite, the price of your freedom is a Chicago Cutlery paring knife! Cut “the man” down to size!

    Da’von and his lovely mother make way too much sense. They’d better move out here to Montana or Wyoming where there’s still a modicum of common sense left. Just barely.

  26. ‘perhaps he will be ready to become a good, quaking, danger-hallucinating American’

    IE a Republican voter.

    1. Silly republicans. Always trying to ban weapons.

  27. Is there a rule against bringing knives to school?

    I’m gonna guess there is.

    1. I’m going to guess there isn’t a rule about being a dumb troll.

      Or 100% missing the fucking point.

      1. He’s just another dumbass, team player.

      2. I’m sure there isn’t — after all you’re here trolling.

        The question is still, is there a rule against having knives at school? And if there is, does this kid get to break that rule because he also has a fruit with him?

  28. @retiredfirefaggot: You should not rest until all of America is wrapped in plastic bubbe, just in case some diaper-headed baddies want to cause you and your dalmatian-fetishizing calendar boys further harm. Nobody gives a shit about 9/11 anymore. Get over yourselves.

  29. A five-day suspension is wholly insufficient. Da’von deserved expulsion for his reckless disregard towards his classmates and their safety.

    I mean, Da’von may have contracted Ebola while claiming his Nigerian inheritance. Then his “harmless” knife could have nicked his finger, infecting the entire class with the bloody apple. And just like that… Mass casualties!

  30. OH, give me a break. Zero tolerance isn’t about a hyper-terrified society, it’s about racial “bias” and having a “really good” reason to point to when black kids are 10 times more likely to get in trouble a school.

  31. A kid trying to accomplish something in his class: public threat. Americans buying guns with the greatest of ease: self-protection. Common sense: zero.

  32. Maybe parents should start suing the schools that dish out such absurd punishments. Hopefully the threat of being dragged through costly legal battles will be enough to get schools to use some common sense.

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