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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More stupidity in the education system...

Another story of school administration idiocy. This came from via;

Troy, NY.-A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a survival kit in his car.

Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh Senior High School, says he follows the Boy Scout motto and is always prepared, stocking his car with a sleeping bag, water, a ready-to-eat meal — and the knife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town.

But Lansingburgh High has a zero-tolerance policy, and when school officials discovered that Whalen kept his knife locked in his car, he says, they suspended him for five days — and then tacked on an additional 15 after a hearing.

The incident is similar to the case of Zachary Christie, a 6-year-old Cub Scout in Delaware who faces up to 45 days in his district’s reform school for bringing a scout utensil that can be used as a fork, spoon and knife to school. But for Whalen — who has received an award from the Boy Scouts of America for saving a life and completed 10 weeks of basic military training last summer — the stakes are much higher:

He is concerned that the blot on his school record could kill his dream of attending West Point.

In an interview with, Whalen recalled the incident that led to his suspension.

He said his school's assistant principal, Frank Macri, approached him on Sept. 21 and asked him if he was carrying a knife.

"I was taken down to the office, and they told me that a student told them that I was carrying a knife," Whalen said.

He said he told them "they could search me and everything, and they said, 'There's no need for that.'"

Whalen said he doesn't know who might have said he was carrying a knife, but he was open with school officials.

"And they said, 'Do you own a knife?' I said, 'Yes, I'm a soldier and an Eagle Scout — I own a knife.'

"And they were like, 'Well, is it in your car or anything?' And I told them, 'Yeah, it's in my car right now.'

"And they asked me to show it to them. I didn't realize it was going to be a problem. I knew it wasn't illegal — my police chief grandfather gave the knife to me."

Whalen said he took school administrators to his car because he thought their fears would be allayed when they saw it was just a 2-inch knife.

"They thought I had a dagger in my car or something like that, so I thought yeah, I'd show it to them," Whalen said.

"I showed it to them, and they told me I had a knife on school property and had to be suspended."

But things didn't end there, Whalen said.

"They brought a cop in, who told them 'he's not breaking any laws, so I can't charge him with anything.'"

Whalen said he asked Macri why a 2-inch pocketknife would be considered more dangerous than other everyday items around the school.

"I said to him, 'What about a person who has a bat, on a baseball team? That could be a weapon.' And he said, 'Well, it's not the same thing.'"

The school district's policy lists "Possessing a weapon" under "examples of violent conduct," which "may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school."

School district officials did not reply to requests for comment.

Whalen says Macri gave him the longest suspension possible — five school days.

"They gave me the five-day suspension, because that is all a principal can suspend a student for," he said. "And from there, they had a superintendent hearing to see if the superintendent wanted to suspend me for longer.

"But the superintendent wasn't even at the hearing. It was the principal and the athletic director. The vice principal who originally suspended me wasn't even there, and neither was the superintendent. They basically asked me, 'Did you have the knife in your car?' And I said 'Yes, I did.' The meeting was recorded and they told me they were going to play the tape to the superintendent.

"They asked me if I wanted to say anything, and I told them all my accomplishments and what I've done, and the principal even admitted that I had no intent to use the knife, that I had no accessibility to the knife."

But school officials decided to suspend Whalen for an extra 15 days anyway, he said. And unless the decision is changed, he will not be allowed on school grounds until Oct. 21.

Whalen said he does not know why the 15 days were added, but he said a school district employee told him it was because the school wanted to apply its policies consistently.

"I've been told by someone who works for the district that they had to do it, because if someone else had a knife and they saw that I didn't get a suspension, that it would look bad for the school."

School superintendent George Goodwin and Lansingburg Senior High School Principal Angelina Bergin did not return calls for comment Tuesday morning.

Whalen said he has no record of disciplinary problems.

"I think I have a detention from like 10th grade for being late or something like that," he said.

He said the suspension has put his college dreams in jeopardy by keeping him out of class, while making him still responsible for assignments.

Though he is provided with a tutor for 90 minutes a day, he said, "I've been suspended for something like a ninth of my school year, so I'm falling behind drastically in my classes."

In addition to getting back to school as soon as possible, Whalen wants the school to drop the incident from his transcript.

"My dream college would be West Point, and having a pock mark like this on my record could be detrimental. They're looking for the best of the best, and if someone didn't take the time to look through it and examine the case, they would just say, 'hey, this guy had a weapon on school property, and we don't want him at our college.'"

Whalen said that he has received support from the community during the last few weeks.

"I've received tremendous communal support. Almost everyone I've talked to has said they're behind me 100 percent, that it's ridiculous that [the school has] done this me."

Whalen said he is not considering a lawsuit.

"I don't know what I could do, because technically ... I did break the rules, and I'll accept that punishment," he said.

"Perhaps I should have been more aware of the rules. However, I'm more upset about the additional 15 days.... That was entirely optional, and they decided to go through with that."

I briefly worked as a maintenance tech at a local high school about six years ago. Those two weeks were, in some respects, the longest years of my life.

As part of my work attire I carried a Leatherman style knife on me. Would that qualify as a weapon according to these fools and if so do they prohibit their own techs from bringing them to the school? Do any of the administrative staff have a set of nail clippers in their desk? How about a letter opener? What do they use in the cafeteria for cutting the shoe leather, oops I meant meat, during the lunch period?

Seems to me if a 17 yr. old Eagle Scout can't be trusted with a two inch blade knife then equally stringent rules should apply to the entire school staff.

Here's the address for the district website;


Unknown said...

When I worked for the airlines I listened as a pilot told me that TSA wouldn’t let him through the security check point with nail clippers because they could be used as a weapon on the plane. The pilot was in uniform, ready to take command of the aircraft and start his flying day. He looked at the TSA agent and said, “I’m the pilot. If I wanted to injure anyone on the aircraft I wouldn’t need nail clippers to do it.” He lost that argument to an agent who could only think to enforce a rule. This is the mentality of administrators at this school. They have a policy to enforce.

I suspect that they have a problem with scouts, too. Especially Eagle Scouts. Teachers and administrators are notoriously liberal. Their disdain for scouting is well known, since scouts do not allow homosexual scout masters. This is just another way to lash out in anger since they are powerless to stop the scouts from enacting their policy. They should have dropped the issue when they discovered that the young man did not have a knife on his body. They went out of their way to find the knife, and overboard in giving him a long suspension.

They have sent a strong message to the entire school body. They aren’t fair. Honesty does not pay.

Emmanuel Goldstein said...

I agree completely.
As a Republican and Eagle Scout I find the same mentioned heavy-handed attitude especially in my Deep Blue State.
The least we can do is document and expose them at every turn.

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