Late last week, a 5th grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Ocala, Florida brought a steak to school for lunch…and with it…a steak knife. A couple of teachers took away the knife and called the sheriff, as school policy dictates. The parents of the girl could not be reached, so she was arrested and taken to the county’s juvenile assessment center.
Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian said, “She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn’t pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature [but A]nytime there’s a weapon on campus, yes, we have to report it and we aggressively report it because we don’t want to take any chances, regardless.”
Captain James Pogue from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said, “[W]e didn’t handcuff her or treat her like a criminal. But, we took her to the assessment center to be assessed. But once we’re notified, we have to take some type of action.”
Since then, the girl has been charged with a felony possession of a weapon on school property charge and was suspended for 10 days. The case has been handed over to the State Attorney’s office.
OK – so my law and order side is saying, “Book her, Dano. Steak Knife 1,” but my cut down on the wasteful government spending/get rid of the frivolous lawsuits side is saying that this is ridiculous. The latter side wins in my mind.
First, it should be noted that this is a school policy that I have a problem with, and not the Sheriff’s office – they handled it because they had to. The school should be given some leeway to make an EXECUTIVE DECISION, something that’s becoming less common in today’s “I might get sued” era. It all stems from lawsuits in my mind – if people in power could make decisions without worrying about their EVERY move being scrutinized by some greedy ambulance-chasing trial lawyer, this wouldn’t have happened. It was a waste of the Sheriff’s office’s time. They should’ve been out responding to REAL emergencies. (Although I have to say – who packs a steak for their 5th grader’s lunch?).