Not the Sharpest In the Drawer

Pajamas Media » Model Student, Sports Star Suspended for Paring Knife Mix-Up (Updated: School Press Statement Added)

On its face, this looks like it’s an asinine decision which is probably the product of a culture that makes lawsuits possible in every breath we take. How else to explain what the school principal has done here? It’s either the school’s fear of a lawsuit, or a total lack of common sense among the school’s leadership, or there’s something we don’t know about all this that hasn’t shown up in the media reports. I’m not discounting that third possibility, but based on what we know from media reports, this is indefensible:

I carried what would now probably be considered an “assault knife” through most of grade school and what is now called middle school. Generally it was a case folder with a 3-4″ blade, a Boy Scout knife, and similar blades, but for a year or so it was an Italian switchblade with a five inch blade.

Almost all the boys I knew did likewise.

Care to guess how many slashing/stabbing incidents I saw or heard about over the entire period in a town of 65k with three high schools?


We are not a nanny state. We are a wussy state.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Not the Sharpest In the Drawer — 11 Comments

  1. The plural of idiot appears to be school administrators. When I grew up even grade school kids carried pocket knives to school and nobody got hurt. In high school you’d have rifles or shotguns in trucks in the parking lot, depending on the current hunting season. Nobody got hurt. Or even raised an eyebrow. Ah, enough of that. It’s depressing.

    On the up side, I got an Old Guys Rule shirt with a picture of John Wayne holding a Winchester and the quote “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do” on it for Christmas. So there’s that.

  2. It was in the ’60s that I first noticed a now well advanced trend of getting lousy teachers out of the classroom by making them administrators, since there was no way to fire them. The thinking, apparently, was that they would be neutralized in doing harmless office work.

    It should be obvious by now that people lacking the sense to handle a classroom full of kids also lack the judgement to handle administrative duties as well. I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I’d read somewhere that there are now more administrators than teachers in most school systems. Whether that’s true or not, it’s long past time to cull the herd.

  3. I had a pocket knife at THS, but I didn’t carry it around. Prefects ran across it a couple of times while searching for cigarettes, but nobody said (or as far as I can tell, thought) anything about it. I didn’t think anything of it, either. It was just something boys from my neck of the woods owned.

  4. And to think I once considered moving to Sanford (the site of this latest school administrative moronity)…

    We’ve obviously got a lot of need for improvement in who we hire to run the schools here in NC – first off, we need to work on hiring people who can use their brains more, and play PR/political games less.

    Similar to Bill,, I carried a pocketknife from the time I was old enough to wear pants with pockets; I still do, along with a belt-pouch multitool (except into the local courthouse; my Victorinox 2-1/2″ and my Leatherman are both, of course, “deadly weapons”, capable of wholesale slaughter at any time). In Junior High/High School, I carried a spring-loaded French-made number with a near-4″ blade. I don’t recall knowing anyone who didn’t have some sort of pocketknife or penknife on or about them, including the girls. Although I recall rumors of a couple of them (in another school district), I never saw a fight or assault involving a knife, until years later when I was in graduate school and worked for awhile in a bar/pool hall.

    “Zero Tolerance”-based moronity like this needs to be halted – there are enough other kinds of stupidity and intolerance around; we should do all we can to avoid increasing it.

  5. It’s more PC uniformity and hunting the weapon instead of the potential perp, just like TSA. If they were ever to acknowledge that some students can be trusted with pocketknives, matches, or aspirin, they would also have to notice which students those were, and keep records of all the information available about who had such privilege and who had lost it.

    Then they’d get buried under wrongful discrimination lawsuits faster than you can say “disparate impact” five times fast.

  6. “Zero Tolerance” is actually a policy based on the assumption that school administrators and teachers can’t be trusted to make judgement calls.

    This assumption is part of school administrators and teachers’ argument for said policy.

    Curiously enough, said adminstrators and teachers also claim to be able to teach kids how to make judgement calls. In fact, they claim that the worst among them is better at said teaching than the best parents.

  7. No, as martinra indicates, it is the recognition that there is never lacking a parent (or gamete donor) so venal and a judge so arrogant as to sue for and award multimegabucks because Susie got five days’ suspension whilst Billy only got three.

    I’m not sure what the solution to this problem is, but ropes and lampposts are probably involved.

  8. “I don’t recall knowing anyone who didn’t have some sort of pocketknife or penknife on or about them”

    Ditto. Our weapon of choice was the deadly Victorinox Swiss Army knife: the more doodads, the greater the prestige. But ordinary ol’ folding pocketknives were ubiquitous — I once saw a teacher take his own folder out to cut something in Physics class, and we all sniggered, because it was only a 2-incher (what we, in an all-boys high school, derisively used to call a “prep-school knife”). The school drew the line at sheath knives, though (and probably with good reason).

    Of course, Musketry was taught every Thursday afternoon at the school shooting range, using .22 LR BSA-Martini single-shot rifles. Our range officer, one of the staff priests, was a Korean War vet.

    You may surmise from the above what I think of the current status quo in high schools — and you’d be understating my approbation by about 500%.

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