An elementary student in Marion County was arrested Thursday after school officials found her cutting food during lunch with a knife that she brought from home, police said.
The 10-year-old girl, a student at Sunrise Elementary School in Ocala, was charged possession of a weapon on school property, which is a felony.
According to authorities, school employees spotted the girl cutting her food while she was eating lunch and took the steak knife from her.
The girl told sheriff's deputies that she had brought the knife to school on more than one occasion in the past.
Students told officials that the girl did not threaten anyone with the knife.
The girl was arrested and transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Any kid in school, (boys, I mean) when I was there wouldn’t be caught dead without a pocket knife of some sort, even the cheapest one from Woollies, you just had to have one. No one ever threatened anybody with one, to do so would have been despicable and the perpetrator would have been regarded as beneath contempt.
Fair enough, society has changed since those days although probably not as much as people think, but the proliferation of drugs and the reliance by some parents on the state to teach values, has put some real nasties out there. However a 10 year old girl in primary school is not likely to present this type of threat.
It could reasonably be argued though that an older person who was aware of the knife could access it. Schools have to make decisions on issues like these, and a ruling such as “no knives” is one way to go.
Why even if the rule was broken, is the child arrested and charged with a felony, does nobody in the school have any sense of proportion, don’t the police have any sense either?
The child was using the knife to no other purpose than to eat her lunch, made no aggressive moves, wasn’t showing it around, just eating her lunch. For this the school is prepared to give her a criminal record at ten years of age.
What is wrong with approaching the child, pointing out that knives are not allowed, giving her an opportunity to do what other cutting is required, then taking it until the end of the day when she could take it home?
But no, these people either can’t think for themselves or don’t want to. I mean if you go around making decisions, you have to take responsibility for them. We can’t have that, can we? Much better to have a written rule book and treat it as the revered word of the Almighty, and apply it with total bloody minded inflexibility.
Then when anything comes up, no matter how petty, an action is specified (probably designed for a worst case scenario) and in this case totally disproportionate to the inadvertent minor breach of the rules.
By following ‘the book’ the perpetrators of this outrage (including the police) can fall back on the Eichmann defense, “I was just following orders.”