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Zero-Tolerance Shopping
Portland (ME) Press Herald ^ | 19 December, 2003 | Tess Nacelewicz

Posted on 12/20/2003 8:44:56 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo

Modern-day concerns clashed with a holiday gift-buying tradition at Hollis Elementary School this week.

A controversy erupted after a small multi-tool item that contained a knife blade was sold to students at an annual sale sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Club.

Students possessing knives in school is a violation of the Bonny Eagle School District's weapons policy. Grace Ward, superintendent of the district, also known as School Administrative District 6, said she stopped the sale of the items, called "pocket pliers," on Wednesday after she learned that two parents had called to complain that some had been sold to children on the first day of the sale Tuesday.

Children buy the inexpensive items to give as holiday gifts.

The pocket pliers - contained in a sturdy plastic package that is difficult to open and then wrapped in gift paper - were bought by 16 children, but arrived home safely and all the parents were informed of the purchase, she said.

Ward said the inclusion of the Swiss-Army-style multi-tools was an innocent oversight by well-intentioned parent volunteers, who each year buy small items like puzzles or candles to resell to students at cost so the youngsters can have affordable gifts to give their parents or other family members for the holidays. "It's been resolved," Ward said Thursday.

However, the sale of the tools in a school district with one of the strictest weapons policies in the state raised concerns among some parents. It also underscores how seemingly benign items - Ward said the pocket pliers were intended as gifts for fathers or other family members who enjoy hunting, fishing or camping - can be viewed in a new light in this post-Columbine era.

"It's a different world today," said Roger Richards, an administrator at the Maine Department of Education who oversees funding to local schools under the federal Safe and Drug-free Schools program. He praised Ward for acting quickly to enforce the district's weapons policy, which was strengthened following a series of bomb threats and other incidents after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado.

In the past, Richards said, pocket pliers would have seemed "pretty harmless."

They resemble a pair of pliers but have fold-out tools in the handles that include a screwdriver, bottle opener and a knife blade. The tools were among hundreds of items that were part of the annual sale. Parent volunteers scour stores all year to find bargain gifts for the students.

But Rich Eilinger, one of the parents who called to complain about the multi-tools, was shocked that they were on sale. "Two days ago, my son came home - he's 11 years old and in the fifth-grade - and asked my wife if he could buy a knife in school. That raised a few eyebrows," Eilinger said Thursday.

He said he's satisfied now that the problem has been resolved. But he said he contacted the news media because he didn't think school officials in the district, which serves Buxton, Limington and Standish as well as Hollis, were responding appropriately at first.

"I was just flabbergasted," he said. "The parent teacher organization was selling knives to elementary school students and the school approved it."

Deb Silver, president of the school's parent teacher club, concedes it was a mistake for volunteers to have bought about 20 pocket pliers for resale, but said it was unintended.

She said purchasers spend "countless hours" looking for inexpensive gifts for the children, and simply saw them as an affordable present a father or brother might appreciate. Ward said the items in the sale range in cost from 25 cents to $4, and the pocket pliers cost $4.

Silver said the knife blade on the pocket pliers wasn't very sharp and she compared it to "basically a long fingernail file." Her own son, a second-grader, purchased one as a gift, she said.

Eilinger said he saw two sizes of the multi-tool, shown to him by a father whose son, a Boy Scout, had purchased both, and estimated the knife blades ranged in length from 3 to 3 1/2 inches. The man was not upset about the sale of the pocket pliers, Eilinger said, but "he was surprised they were selling it in school."

Silver said that before the pocket pliers were sold on Tuesday, the principal of Hollis Elementary, Mark Kellis, told parent volunteers that the parents of the children buying such a gift must be informed and give permission.

Kellis on Thursday referred all comments to Ward, who said she had no knowledge of what Kellis might have said.

Ward said 16 students bought pocket pliers and that in nine of the cases, the parents were volunteering at the school during the sale and brought the gift home themselves. The other seven students took the wrapped pocket pliers home in their backpacks, she said. One child forgot to take the item out of the backpack at home, but it was discovered in school the next day and brought to the office, Ward said.

In the future, the items in the annual sale will have to meet school approval, Ward said.

She and Silver said they worry that the flap about the pocket pliers will overshadow the positive nature of the sale, a holiday tradition at the school for several years. It allows children who live in the country a unique opportunity to play Santa Claus to their families and friends, Silver said.

"Some of the children have never had a chance to be on the giving end during the holiday season," she said. "The look on their faces says it all. They are excited to be able to surprise their family and friends with the gifts they selected and paid for, usually with their own money."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: lefties; nannystate; pc; pocketknife; school; zerotolerance
What a bunch of weenies we've become. Remember when the rifle club members brought their guns to school?
1 posted on 12/20/2003 8:44:56 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I made a hunting knife in my high school metal shop! Can't recall if I used it on anyone.
2 posted on 12/20/2003 8:51:35 AM PST by Conservateacher
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To: NewHampshireDuo
At 11 years old I owned several guns allready.
3 posted on 12/20/2003 8:53:51 AM PST by JOHANNES801 (WHEN THE 2ND IS REPEALED,THE 2ND REVOLUTION STARTS.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
This Rich Eilinger guy, what a putz.
4 posted on 12/20/2003 8:56:29 AM PST by BBell
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Somebody could have been killed!
5 posted on 12/20/2003 8:56:52 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: NewHampshireDuo
My two Maine grandsons,9 and 11 are homeschooled on their farm. They and their dad each carry a sheathed knife, mebe 6 in blade on their belts. Have for years. Grandgirl, 6 sees no need yet.
6 posted on 12/20/2003 8:58:06 AM PST by larryjohnson
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To: Conservateacher
I made bongs in my Junior High plastics shop. Boy was I a different person back then.
7 posted on 12/20/2003 8:59:02 AM PST by BBell
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To: larryjohnson
The boys also drive the tractor.
8 posted on 12/20/2003 8:59:59 AM PST by larryjohnson
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The horror!
9 posted on 12/20/2003 9:00:00 AM PST by breakem
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I hope none of the items sold were wrapped in plastic bags. Someone could suffocate! And don't wrap them in festive Christmas wrap (oops...that's "festive winter season wrap")...you might get a paper cut. There's danger lurking all around us.
10 posted on 12/20/2003 9:00:40 AM PST by JayNorth
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To: JayNorth
Any boy who doesn't have a pocket knife and BB gun by the time they're twelve is at serious risk of becoming a Democrat.
11 posted on 12/20/2003 9:05:51 AM PST by BigBobber
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Ward said the pocket pliers were intended as gifts for fathers or other family members who enjoy hunting, fishing or camping - can be viewed in a new light in this post-Columbine era
 
Columbine - Refresh my memory. Was that the school massacre where two teenagers killed 15 people with pliers?
"Zero Tolerance" has nothing to do with toleration. What it is is Zero Judgment. Because liberals and moral relativist are unwilling to determine right and wrong they will ban everything in the attempt to eliminate all wrong without having to make the judgment.
 

12 posted on 12/20/2003 9:06:21 AM PST by azcap
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To: NewHampshireDuo
This is intolerable. We need vouchers. When private schools begin to syphon off the children maybe these public schools will learn the meaning of common sense. How about being expelled for a year for Advil?

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1035030/posts
13 posted on 12/20/2003 9:10:16 AM PST by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Israel!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
ZERO TOLERANCE MEANS NO:

OR

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

14 posted on 12/20/2003 9:10:30 AM PST by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
PC idiocy!
15 posted on 12/20/2003 9:12:19 AM PST by Exit148
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To: Exit148
My co-worker's 14 yr old son accidentally left a pocket knife in his jeans (left over from a weekend camping trip) and he wore those same jeans to school. He felt the bulge in his pocket and said, Whoops! That's my pocket knife! And several girls ran to the teacher and said, that boy has a knife in class!

The teacher called security, they called police, the parents had to pick up the kid at the police station, and the kid was charged, sentenced to probation, and had to perform 200 hours of car washing of police cars.

16 posted on 12/20/2003 9:17:22 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: NewHampshireDuo
But Rich Eilinger, one of the parents who called to complain about the multi-tools, was shocked that they were on sale. "Two days ago, my son came home - he's 11 years old and in the fifth-grade - and asked my wife if he could buy a knife in school. That raised a few eyebrows," Eilinger said Thursday.

Bunch of weenies is correct. My parents gave me a Cub Scout multi-bladed pocket knife on my 8th birthday. I have carried a knife in my pocket virtually every day of the 47 years since, including all through school. Nobody cared.

I also on many days brought my .22 rifle to school on the bus and kept it in my locker all day until getting on my friend's bus and going to his farm to shoot woodchucks after school. Nobody cared. Nobody ever got shot or cut.

We've become a nation of sheep. Baaaaaaa.

17 posted on 12/20/2003 9:22:01 AM PST by weaponeer
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To: BigBobber
I'll never forget that my Dad always carried a pocketknife, and how it was a big deal when I was about 8 or 9 and my Dad gave me my own, and showed me how to use it. In fact, I know he carried with him on planes untill about 10 or so years ago. It's amazing how the libs are trying to make each and every boy a little girl.
18 posted on 12/20/2003 9:28:30 AM PST by sharkhawk (I want to go to St. Somewhere)
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To: weaponeer
My parents gave me a Cub Scout multi-bladed pocket knife on my 8th birthday. I have carried a knife in my pocket virtually every day of the 47 years since, including all through school. Nobody cared.

My grandfather gave me a pocket knife when I was a relatively little kid and told me to always carry it. While that knife is long gone, I've always carried a knife (and where I'm allowed, a gun).

19 posted on 12/20/2003 9:33:10 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo
How long before zero tollerance extends to municipal limits? How about a buffer zone?

Soon only blunted sporks will be allowed.

What a nerf world idiot.
20 posted on 12/20/2003 9:36:27 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
For our family birthday exchange one of my sister-in-laws gave my nine year old son a swiss pocket knife. My only fear was that he would try to poke it into the wall, like he did with another knife. But he's been good about it this time.
21 posted on 12/20/2003 9:39:19 AM PST by HungarianGypsy
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To: sharkhawk
I have a Dad who is perpetually attached to his pocket knife as well. I remember when I was a kid riding on airplanes with him. He would sit there and clean under his fingernails with his pocket knife.
22 posted on 12/20/2003 9:41:17 AM PST by azcap
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To: NewHampshireDuo
GASP! You're going to poke somebody's eye out with that!!

I'm so glad I went to school in simpler times. We were even allowed to sing the Christian Christmas carols in our public school pageants and nobody was ever offended. Imagine that!

23 posted on 12/20/2003 9:43:48 AM PST by Allegra
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To: NewHampshireDuo
When will this "zero-tolerance" nonsense come to an end? It leads to feminization of the society and makes us susceptible to the Left's "come hither" ideas of free lunch.
24 posted on 12/20/2003 9:46:18 AM PST by szweig
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I once brought a .38 plastic replica revolver to high school as a prop for a "persuasive speech" I had to give. I dragged the gun out of my shirt pocket and not a singel person flinched, screamed, dove for the floor, or ran away.

I got an A+ on the speech, and used the prop to persuade people to wear seat belts.

BTW, not a single person died in a Columbine-style massacre that day. However, even the teacher decided it was a good idea to wear seat belts.
25 posted on 12/20/2003 9:57:56 AM PST by HighWheeler (def.- Democrats: n. from Greek; “democ” - many; “rats” - ugly, filthy, bloodsucking parasites.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
"It's a different world today," said Roger Richards, an administrator at the Maine Department of Education

Same world, more a**hole school administrators.

26 posted on 12/20/2003 10:10:19 AM PST by zook
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To: weaponeer; NewHampshireDuo; TexasCowboy; Squantos; Travis McGee; harpseal; humblegunner; dix; ...
I got my first knife when I was four. It was a cheesy Stuckeys souvenier, but it was a knife and it was mine.

41 years later I still have it, plus about 100 others and I carry one everyday. I have a "travel" knife with a ceramic blade and kevlar body. Never been stopped by a metal detector so far.

I too, carry a gun everywhere that is "legal". I guess the use of the term "legal" proves just how bad it has gotten. I am ashamed of myself having to use that term.

27 posted on 12/20/2003 10:22:33 AM PST by Eaker (Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. - Lazarus Long)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Have they banned boogers yet, someone could lose an eye.
28 posted on 12/20/2003 10:24:26 AM PST by Husker24
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The paper has a poll on the middle right hand section of the page:

"Knives as Gifts
The Parent Teacher Club at Hollis Elementary School sponsors a sale of inexpensive gifts so children can do holiday shopping at the school. One of the gifts is a pocket plier - a small multi-tool item that contained a knife blade. Parents of some students who bought the tool at a school with a strict anti-weapons policy complained and the tool was removed from the sale.Should such multi-tools be banned from school-sponsored sales?"

The weenies are closing in:
Yes 47.2%
No 52.8%
Total Votes: 214
29 posted on 12/20/2003 10:27:22 AM PST by Oatka
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To: Eaker
I earned my 'Totin' Chip" in the Boy Scouts and 9 or so I think.

I've been carrying one 'where legal' ever since. And I feel exactly the same way you do about the 'where legal' part.

L

P.S. Love the tagline. Lazarus had some pretty good rules for a long and happy life.

30 posted on 12/20/2003 10:30:31 AM PST by Lurker (Don't p*** down my back and try to tell me it's raining.)
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To: Eaker
"41 years later I still have it, plus about 100 others and I carry one everyday."

I'm gonna tell on you!!
LOL!

Those Bokers are good knives, but pretty darn expensive!
I've had mine several years, and it's about time to send it in to have it laser sharpened.

31 posted on 12/20/2003 10:45:16 AM PST by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: longtermmemmory

32 posted on 12/20/2003 11:04:58 AM PST by e_engineer
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To: NewHampshireDuo
My uncle and I have this long-running joke; we sit on a park bench and lament the fate of the world and then, in unison, we chortle: "Thank God, I won't live that long," neither of us thought we would.
33 posted on 12/20/2003 11:26:36 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: e_engineer
< sarcasm on > Well then pens and pencils are potential violations of Zero Tolerance as well. Students should use nothing but crayons. Wait there may be a reason to prohibit crayons!
34 posted on 12/20/2003 3:02:22 PM PST by Fred Hayek
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To: NewHampshireDuo
"Remember when the rifle club members brought their guns to school?"

It wasn't too long ago. My school never had one, but my friends did. I was able to take a city bus with any gun and ammo.

post-Columbine = progressive BS propaganda acconpanied by surrender to the comfort of darkness.

35 posted on 12/20/2003 3:26:36 PM PST by spunkets
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To: Ciexyz
Bet he hates public schools now. Bet he'll never send his kid to one.
36 posted on 12/20/2003 3:42:33 PM PST by ladylib
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To: NewHampshireDuo
"Two days ago, my son came home - he's 11 years old and in the fifth-grade - and asked my wife if he could buy a knife in school. That raised a few eyebrows," Eilinger said Thursday.

What an embarassment for the kid. Imagine your parents blabbing to the media that you're such a helpless wuss you can't be trusted with a pocketknife.

37 posted on 12/20/2003 3:57:25 PM PST by primeval patriot
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To: primeval patriot
Hint to kid: Never ask your parents anything if you're pretty sure what the answer is going to be.
38 posted on 12/20/2003 4:10:02 PM PST by ladylib
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To: Eaker
My first knife was a schrade Ol' Timer. I still have it packed away. My Leatherman tool is always with me. As to a no weapons policy, it must be a real handicap conducting school without pens or pencils they can be sharp.

Now I also carry a gun wherever I go. It is concealed and it is discrete. No one ver knows it is with me. Sometimes I admit I have gone into places where statutes object to my being armed. If I have to I will deal with the issues in court.
39 posted on 12/21/2003 6:01:12 PM PST by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: Eaker
My first knife was a schrade Ol' Timer. I still have it packed away. My Leatherman tool is always with me. As to a no weapons policy, it must be a real handicap conducting school without pens or pencils they can be sharp.

Now I also carry a gun wherever I go. It is concealed and it is discrete. No one ver knows it is with me. Sometimes I admit I have gone into places where statutes object to my being armed. If I have to I will deal with the issues in court.
40 posted on 12/21/2003 6:01:12 PM PST by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: BBell
Plastics shop???Man talk about modern marvels,We had to make them the old fashioned way.....Outa wood :-)
41 posted on 12/21/2003 7:45:27 PM PST by HP8753 (My cat doesn't see the humor in static electricity.... ;-)
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To: HP8753
Oh man, wood could be so nasty to break in.
42 posted on 12/21/2003 8:28:18 PM PST by BBell
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To: HP8753
On another note, I'll always remember plastics shop and my instructor, a good old guy who had no clue what we were making (the bongs). The reason I'll always remember it is thats were I was when my instructor walked in at the beginning of class one morning with a radio, turned it on and informed us Ronald Reagan had just been shot. He mumbled whats this world coming to and didn't say much else, we just listened to the radio in silence.
43 posted on 12/21/2003 8:44:26 PM PST by BBell
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To: NewHampshireDuo
What a bunch of weenies we've become. Remember when the rifle club members brought their guns to school?

I was on my high school rifle team (JROTC) back in 1975. We had a 50' range in the basement of the school. In 1976, I was going to VoTech as well, learning to become a diesel mechanic. On of the things that we were told to get on the first day was a "Buck Knife." Actually, I got myself a Schrade, but still it was one of those locking blade knives that I carried on my belt in school for 2 years, both at my high school, and at VoTech. Nobody ever questioned it or objected. I also took a speech class once where I gave a safety demonstration of rifle and shotgun, and brought 2 guns to school, with the permission of the school office. The guns were kept in the office throughout the day.

Mark

44 posted on 12/21/2003 8:51:00 PM PST by MarkL (I know that there's a defense around here somewhere... Chiefs 12-3... Bah, Humbug!)
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To: Liberal Classic
You know, it just occured to me that I may have broken the law on more than one occassion. I've done some service calls to schools, and in every case, I've had my leatherman tool on my belt, as well as having a knife in my tool kit...

It never even occurred to me. What was it that Ayn Rand wrote? Something like... Honest people can't be controlled... By making the laws so complex that you can't help but break the law unknowingly. Then everyone's a criminal.

Mark
45 posted on 12/21/2003 8:55:03 PM PST by MarkL (I know that there's a defense around here somewhere... Chiefs 12-3... Bah, Humbug!)
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To: Ciexyz
I hope the parents are smart enough to never have that kid set foot in the school again.
46 posted on 12/21/2003 8:55:29 PM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: BBell
Agreed,But start with a propane torch and lots of friends "helping" usually got it there.
47 posted on 12/23/2003 5:13:15 PM PST by HP8753 (My cat doesn't see the humor in static electricity.... ;-)
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