Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sanford, North Carolina: Paring knife murder capital of the United States?

Well, it's either that or home to some ridiculously over-zealous school officials.

Ashley Smithwick, a 17-year-old senior at Southern Lee High School, has reportedly been suspended for the balance of the school year because a paring knife was found in her lunchbox – which, incidentally, wasn’t hers:
The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.

“It’s just an honest mistake. That was supposed to be my lunch because it was a whole apple,” he said.

Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss told the Sanford Herald that he can’t discuss the specifics of the case, but school policy allows principals to consider the context of each case and determine discipline.

Moss said students who accidentally carry a weapon and report it to teachers will get a light punishment. If teachers find it, he said, the discipline is harsher.

“When the principals conduct their investigations, what typically is fleshed out is the true intent,” he told the newspaper. “Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus. Because most of our students are, you know, pussies – have been, ever since the great cheese-grater massacre of ’08.”
Ok, that last line is mine. But if the story is true (incidentally, the school has since denied it; more below), then it means that some school administrators see zero tolerance as being equivalent to zero latitude for the exercise of common sense, a pretext for avoiding the responsibility for using one’s own judgment – in which case, why not replace highly paid education bureaucrats with low-wage rent-a-cops, who can just stalk the halls, randomly frisking students and ransacking lockers?

I am hereby, tentatively, establishing the Committee to Readmit Ashley Smithwick. If her story proves to be true, and she is not ultimately readmitted, then I will fold the organization into the Committee to Run the Lee County School Board Out of Town on a Rail. If her story turns out to be false, then I will immediately establish a Committee to Apologize to the Lee County School Board and Prevent Paco Enterprises from Establishing Any More Committees).

(H/T: Frugal Café)

About that denial: School officials claim that the knife was found in Ashley’s purse, not her lunchbox. Here’s a video allegedly showing the offending bag. Note the letters, “byo”? Presumably as in "Bring Your Own" ("lunch" would seem to be implied)? Er, it’s a lunchbox (or canvas lunch sack, rather). And there’s no doubt that she was charged with misdemeanor weapons possession. The denial also says that Ashley is “currently enrolled in the school”. Does that mean the same thing as “permitted to come on campus”? Why, no, not necessarily, because, remember: Pampered Chef paring knives don’t kill people; people do.


JorgXMcKie said...

Honest to God, part of getting an advanced degree in 'education' [especially an EdD {which should be a DEd, so we could pronounce it Dead}] must be to get whacked upside the head repeatedly with a wooden mallet until you have no sense left.

And you have *never* seen anyone as insistent on being addressed as "Doctor" as most of those sorry sots with EdD's.

Also, there appear to be about 5-6 possible doctorates in 'Education', most of which don't seem to have anything to do with educating anyone.

WV: nongent -- I write like a nongent.

carpefraise said...

Boy, imagine if her dad had accidentally packed a jihadi in that lunch bag!

The security would have jumped to the ceiling that day!


mRed said...

My school was held hostage by a skinny girl with braces and an unregistered pencil sharpener. It was very scary. Me shivers to the bone scary. Thank you EdD Swat Squad.

El Cid said...

Just looked up the definition of asinine, the definition was accompanied by a picture of Jeff Moss.

Yojimbo said...

I was just thinking(whoa!). How much of this silliness is related to the trial lawyer people? Some of this zero tolerance stuff came on the heals of school districts getting banged for millions of bucks by some nitwit parent and his lawyer over some utter foolishness or other.

Zero tolerance means you show no judgment whatsoever. The parent usually sues to get their kid back in school, but no money.

Showing judgment means a decision was made and decisions can be questioned. The parent of some rugrat sues because the little dolt felt threatened by some inaction of the school over something, and they sue, for DAMAGES. It has happened in Arizona, and presto, you get idiotic actions like kicking some poor kid out of school for having an aspirin in their possession.

Just give them an excuse not to think and boom.

richard mcenroe said...

Oh, come on, she was obviously planning on going on an interstate peeling rampage if her parents let her borrow the car.

Yojimbo said...

You may be on to something,Richard.
It was in a ...canvas...lunch...sack-very suspicious,very suspicious indeed.

Anonymous said...

Paco, I think Mrs. Paco or yourself should run for Governor of the Great State of Virginia. At the very least, get on the Textbook Committee!

Paco said...

PC: What the state needs is the Paco view of history.

Chapter I: Pacohontas Saves John "Wronwright" Smith

El Cid said...

UPDATE: This story says it’s about Smithwick, and also calls into question Superintendent Jeffrey Moss’s earlier statement


Paco said...