Spoon-Wielding Boy Scout Allowed Back in School

District’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons amended for young students

By Teresa Masterson and Vince Lattanzio
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 12:59 PM EDT
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Zachary's Mom: "Thank You"

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Zachary's Mom: "Thank You"

A six-year old who was exiled from his school for bringing a camping utensil to school, will be allowed back.
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Six-year-old Zachary Christie likes to eat his pudding with his favorite spoon, so he brought it to school with him. But it cost him -- being branded a troublemaker and exiled from his elementary school because of it.

The Cub Scout's favorite spoon happens to be attached to a knife and fork, in a folding Swiss-Army type camping utensil. Despite the pudding purpose, he was suspended and ordered to spend 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers. Newark, Del.'s Christina School District  has a zero-tolerance policy with weapons.

After Zachary’s family spread the word of the unjust decision through the “Help Zachary” Web site, outrage spread across the country. This prompted the Christina School Board to call a meeting Tuesday night, when they revisited the zero-tolerance policy.

“I had absolutely no idea this was gonna’ happen,” Zachary told the TODAY Show Tuesday. “I wasn’t thinking about this. I was thinking about having lunch with it!”

The district received more than 1,000 angry phone calls from all over the U.S. demanding that Zachary be allowed back in school, reports The News Journal.

“The policy, of course, needs some additional flexibility,” said board member John Mackenzie.

And that flexibility was added during the meeting. The updated policy removes the rule, which required kindergarten and first grade students be sent to an alternative school for a set period of time. The students would still have to serve a suspension.

Having already served his time, Zachary will return to Downes Elementary School in Bear, Del. Wednesday.

"I'm so happy that Zachary will be able to return to school," said his mother Debbie following the meeting. "I wanna thank everyone for the unbelievable support and the coverage of this story."

Debbie said she hopes Zachary's case will cause other school boards to rethink their zero-tolerance policies.

 

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