A Florida school suspended an 11-year-old girl for wielding a butter knife. Asked by a classmate for some of her peach, the girl pulled the knife from her bag and promptly cut her peach in half.
For this, she has been suspended for six days.
This wasn’t just a butter knife, mind you — it was a butter knife meant for toddlers. “It does not cut,” the girl’s mom said to local station WLPG-TV. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly.” The district’s own weapons policy excludes “blunt-bladed table knives” from the list of potential weapons. So pretty much this little girl has been punished for no reason.
This whole story seems fishy. Have you ever tried to cut fruit with a butter knife, much less a child’s butter knife? Sure, maybe you can manage to slice a banana. But a peach? How did she manage it? Toddler knives are useless. You might as well try to cut something using a hairbrush. Maybe she was actually suspended for bludgeoning a perfectly good peach?
And if you can’t slice fruit with a toddler knife, there’s no way anyone’s bringing one to a knife fight. Your thumb could do more damage. There is so much a kid brings to school every day that would serve as a more effective weapon. You could garrote someone with a shoelace. Brain them with your Thermos. Hell, metal lunch boxes are weapons. You ever had someone whip a lunch box at your head? Let me tell you, that’s gonna sting.
Of course it’s important to keep our kids safe, but this overreaction to what should have been a nice lunchtime moment is absurd. A little girl has been traumatized for sharing her fruit. Now the parents are concerned she might face criminal charges. “She’s afraid now of the educators. She’s afraid of people at school. They need to change the system,” her father said. We hope the school — and/or the state attorney’s office — dismisses this case and makes things right with the girl and her family.