In early April, Braden Bandermann’s class set off on Garden Gate Elementary School’s annual, week-long pilgrimage for fifth-graders to Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco.
Before leaving, Braden did what any Silicon Valley 10-year-old faced with the perils of nature might do: He packed his trusty Swiss Army knife. As any camper knows, the multi-tool device is nothing if not versatile. Braden’s particular model contains a can opener, tweezers, a toothpick, a nail file, a tiny pair of scissors and a small blade.
The little blade landed the boy in big trouble.
“They called me,” explained Tony Bandermann, Braden’s father. “They said, ‘You have to come and get him. He has a weapon. He needs to be suspended or possibly expelled.’”
“State Law, district policy, and regulations of [sic] California Education Code support Zero Tolerance by requiring the immediate suspension and recommendation for expulsion of any student who possesses or furnishes a firearm, knife, explosive, or similarly dangerous object on school grounds or at a school event off school grounds,” the policy reads.
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Since when was being completely intolerant a virtue?