Pages

November 13, 2009

Reminder to parents after student found with knife at Walnut Creek Intermediate

This is a note from Kevin Collins, the principal of Walnut Creek Intermediate, reminding parents (and their kids) of what's not okay for kids to bring onto campus.

I am writing to let the community know that one of our students was found to be in possession of a knife on campus today. While the mere possession of a knife is serious, the knife was not brandished or used to threaten anyone on campus. We are following our disciplinary guidelines for an infraction like this which includes a suspension from school and police contact.

I am asking all families to review the following article that we have run several times in the past year in eNews regarding items that should not be brought to school:

Backpacks and Inappropriate Items--Over the years we have encountered students who have brought inappropriate items to school with little forethought for consequences or how these items may be viewed by others. These items have included things such as fireworks, lighters, handcuffs, pepper spray, and pocket knives.

Students who brought these items may have had the most innocent of intentions, but as a school we are required to work to keep the campus free of such dangerous items. While we inform students of our expectations and consequences at school, we ask that families reinforce this message at home. One suggestion we offer is to and to review the WCI discipline code in the student planner or and directory. Another is to go through your student's backpack with him or her to see what is being carried around on a daily basis. A positive side effect of this may be greater organization and a reduced load being carried around daily.

We all need to do our part to keep WCI safe. Student safety remains our top priority.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see inadvertently bringing a pocket knife in your backpack, but what nutjob parent has their kid bring pepper spray to school?

Masterlock said...

I saw three little girls crossing the crosswalk out there the other day carrying Victoria's Secret bags. I have way more of an issue with that than a kid with a swiss army knife.

Limeridger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Limeridger said...

LOL - concur with the Victoria's Secret Comment. How was the pocketknife discovered and how is the mere possession of a pocketknife a threat to safety given that it was not brandished? I understand and agree with school policy to keep knives out of school (as a matter of policy). However, while some form of punishment is understandable to reinforce the policy, suspension seems like a hypersensitive overreaction more likely to breed resentment than understanding. Why not a serious discussion and explanation of why the policy needs to be enforced and maybe a research project on school safety? Social and societal isolation sends the wrong message for merely possessing a pocketknife which unless misused is quite safe and is a useful tool. Recent cases in media highlight this overreaction where a boyscout brought his knife to school to eat lunch proud of his tool with no malintent and the zero tolerance policy (not the knife company) of the school was actually going to result in his expulsion and being sent to reform school. Also, the high school boy headed for west point that kept a knife in his car trunk as part of a safety kit who was called into the principle to find out where the knife the kept even though it was not on his person. He was going to be suspended as well and thankfully West Point said the incident would not be held against his admission application. We need some levity, thickness of skin, and less hypersensitivity.

Anonymous said...

Administrators are in a no-win position on this.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of WCI: my son noted today that report cards are coming out on Friday the 13th. Gotta love that.

Anonymous said...

Reform school for a Boy Scout????If the administrators ever issue a knee-jerk suspension to my child innocently bringing something to school (i.e. Midols for cramps or a Boy Scout tool), I will use those three days as a vacation. The more I hear about WCI, the more I am leaning towards sending my children to prviate school. When the teachers are sending their kids to private school instead of WCi or Los Lomas, it makes me wonder..........

Masterlock said...

My best friend just looked into it 10:13, it'll run you around $20K a year.

Anonymous said...

20K and if you kid does something stupid they can kick 'em out that day.

Anonymous said...

Masterlock why were you concerned about the three little girl's Victoria's Secret bags? Were they carrying pocket knives in them?

Masterlock said...

Yes 11:54, or possibly mace.

Anonymous said...

crap I should open a private school for 4 -6 kids and make $80K -120K a year

Anonymous said...

It was probably a butter knife to spread jam with. School policies are idiotic like this...

Anonymous said...

The issue with the pocket knives is that most, if not all schools, have a zero-tolerance policy for weapons. While one child may have a Swiss Army knife that is little more than a fingernail pick, others actually have the capability to cause injury another child.

Rather than splitting hairs over what type of pocketknife is OK and determining which blade length is acceptable, schools ban them altogether.

11:54: I think that Masterlock's concern with young girls shopping at Victoria's Secret is the sexual tone of Victoria's Secret. I don't know how old the girls he saw were, but are middle-school girls be wearing sexy lingerie.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the boy was also carrying dope and handcuffs and is in JH tonight. Maybe just a rumor..

Even so, I agree with whoever wants to send their child to private school over WCI. It's a very mixed bag. If it wasn't so expensive, I would too. And 20000 is cheap. Most are closer to 30.

hapamama said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa with the wild rumors!

According to the police report, the only contraband the boy was carrying was the knife. He didn't have drugs or handcuffs. He did get arrested though.

Apparently the day before, the child in question had brandished the same knife on the trail in front of the campus.

I have a son who is also a 7th grader at WCI, who attended elementary school with the child in question. The child in question isn't some little thug. He's probably just a really stressed out kid who made a really bad decision.

My son reports that there is a lot of bullying at WCI this year. There is an 8th grader that has apparently threatened to follow him home and beat us (his parents) up, keeps throwing food at him in the cafeteria, and apparently my kid hasn't been the only target. WTF is wrong with kids these days?

Anonymous said...

11:25 am....

For anyone, including you, who can't quickly answer your question "WTF is wrong with kids these days?", just look in the mirror to get your answer.

I may be an old fart, but I always marvel at stories of 7th graders being "stressed out" and bullying going on. This should be the best time of their lives and somehow modern day parenting isn't cutting it.

Give up your exepnsive SUVs, lavish vacations, over-the-top birthday parties for the kids, 60" TVs, and other meaningless objects and stay home with your kids. When you and your spouse got pregnant, you took on one of life's greatest obligations and most precious priveliges.....raising your child into adulthood.

Think about it........

Soccer Mom said...

Hey Hapamama,
Thanks for clearing up the incident, with what you know. If, this child was displaying the knife the day before, it makes me think he was, in some ways, looking for attention and/or help.

I'm aware of a few other kids at WCI whom I worry about, from a distance. I know of them, and how other kids view them. I don't know their parents, and I might hear the same things other parents hear--from our kids and so on.

One apparently wrote something in class about wanting to go off by himself into the wilderness and wanted to get away from people... This was around the time he got in trouble for hitting another student. I thought, that kid sounds depressed. I know of another who has a rocky home life and was always in trouble in elementary school, or trying to act tough.

We think kids at this age don't get depressed, or even have an awareness of suicide.

They do. Boys, who are stressed out, and depressed, tend to act out, in anti-social ways. And in violent ways. Girls might go inwards and hurt themselves.

Anonymous said...

How does hapamama have access to the police report? Did the WC PD process a police report in one day? Do they give out copies of police reports involving minors to anyone who asks?

hapamama said...

Hapamama reads the daily police bulletin when she gets bored, generally once a week, and the WCPD just happened to post Thursday's entries on Friday. It's not an actual police report, but between the bulletin AND what I've been told by my son, who happens to know the child in question, I can put 2 and 2 together. Most of the 7th graders know who the kid is.

Like I said before. My child knows the child who was caught with the knife. I've met the kid, as he was either in 4th or 5th grade with my kiddo. I remember him being a fairly quiet, socially awkward child. Definitely not bully material and not really violent, just kind of squirrely.

Last year at WCI, there was another incident with a pocket knife and a 6th grader who inadvertently brought a pocket knife to school. When he found it in his backpack, a teacher was told, and unlike the more recent case, since the student wasn't brandishing it, he only got arrested and suspended and was back at school shortly after.

Steve said...

WOW just take the knife a way send the STUDENT home and talk to the parents. Giving the STUDENT a record at such a young age especially in Walnut Creek is not a smart choice. LOL An area with a low drug rate you'd think paranoia wouldn't run like wild fire. I know some maybe bored so become a BIG BROTHER or SISTER and shape the future : )

Anonymous said...

So, we really don't know the extent of the situation. We don't know the type of knife or if the student had any other issues besides the knife.

A knife, even a small one, can case damage to another child. Plenty of nerves, tendons, etc. are pretty near the skin's surface.

Was it last year that an Acalanes' boy brought a modified Co2 cylinder to school. The bomb squad had to be called out to disarm to detonate it (or whatever it's called). There were parents out defending the boy who 'forgot it was in his backpack.'

Honestly, I don't have a problem with a zero tolerance policy. I don't see why there are so many people who find that they are unable to follow the rules.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:26,

Speaking as a former teacher, I do have a problem.

Zero Tolerance equates to me with Intolerance. I am so tired of hearing lazy bureaucracy couched in this lazy term.

In the real world, we need to think before applying action.

I challenge others to defend the lazy no-tolerance governance. As a student teacher and then high school teacher in another state, I took away bottles of acid and knives from what were basically good kids overreacting over thirty years ago.

They lived and did well. People, can't we all get along?

Anonymous said...

So, the days of bringing your .22 rifle to school, leaving it in the principle's office, and picking it up after school to go shooting in the hills are over?

This is what we did as kids in Los Angeles County schools.

How things have changed in uhem, err, okay, almost 40 years.

Anonymous said...

9:01,

So will you suggest a committee that determines how long your child's knife may be before it's removed from his custody? How do you determine what weapon is safe and what is not? Do you base your decision on whether the child is responsible? Allow some kids to carry and some not?

What if you didn't know that the Acalanes' boy's Co2 cylinder could explode and kill or maim the boy or his classmates, and you decided he could leave it in his backpack, and it caused injury or kill another child?

The problem with independent decision-making is that some administrators will make mistakes or the wrong decision. This means that children can be in jeopardy and the school district will probably be liable.

"A teenage boy was allegedly stabbed with a penknife at a church school following apparent playground argument about football, it was revealed today." June 2009

Even small weapons can cause intentional and unintentional injuries. Zero tolerance helps the administration keep all children safe.