A 10-year-old California boy was suspended and threatened with expulsion after he brought a Swiss Army Knife on a week-long school school camping trip.
Tony Bandermann told Fox News that his son Braden was on a science camping trip with his class at Garden Gate Elementary School in Cupertino, Calif.
Braden with the Swiss Army Knife that got him in trouble.
According to a school incident report, the boy showed the small knife to other students who then reported him to teachers. The incident report stated that law enforcement was also notified. However, no charges were filed.
Bandermann, who was out-of-town on a business trip, said he received a telephone call from the school’s principal informing him that his son had violated the school’s weapons policy. The punishment, she told him, must be immediate and severe.
“She threatened to expel him,” he said. “She kept telling me, ‘you can’t bring a weapon to school.’ A Swiss Army Knife is a tool not a weapon.”
Since he was unable to pick up his son, the principal put the boy in 24-hour isolation at the camp – held in a teacher’s lounge where he was forced to eat and sleep in solitude.
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“It was horrible in every way,” the father said. “The punishment was ridiculous.”
Neither the school nor the Cupertino Union School District returned telephone calls seeking comment.
Bandermann said it’s unreal to think that a boy on a hiking and camping trip could get in trouble for having a Swiss Army Knife.
“I felt as though I want to pull him out of the public education system and homeschool him,” he said. “I felt as though the public education system is becoming the bottom of the barrel. I felt sorry for today’s kids.”
Braden is back in school now – but his father is still fuming. He accused the school district of overreacting.
“They’re not teaching critical thinking,” he said. “That’s what she’s teaching these kids – to react on your emotions instead of gathering information.”
The Oklahoma Commission on School Security on Tuesday announced policy recommendations after a comprehensive analysis of Oklahoma school security issues. The policy recommendations were formally released in the 2013 Report of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security.
Commission was formed after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December.
President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon asked Lt. Governor Todd Lamb to chair the statewide commission. Lt. Governor Lamb is a former United States Secret Service Agent and as a State Senator was the principal author of the 2008 Oklahoma School Security Act. Commission agendas included speaker testimony and discussion on the various factors related to school security including but not limited to public safety, mental health, training, engineering and local control.
“The members of this commission sacrificed their time and provided their expertise to this very important issue,” said Lt. Governor Lamb. “As parents we want all children to do well academically, but our first priority is for our children, our students to be safe and secure during their school day. No policy can prevent evil from occurring, but our hope is that these recommendations will mitigate and lessen the potential of future large scale school violence.”
The Oklahoma Commission on School Security was given a March deadline in order for recommendations to be placed in bills this legislative session.
After hearing expert testimony and completing their study, the Oklahoma Commission on School Security submitted the following legislative recommendations:
1) Formation of the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI)
2) Establish a Mental Health First Aid Training Pilot Program
3) Amend and change state law to consolidate and require safety drills
4) Require the reporting of firearms found on school property to local law enforcement
5) Establish a school security tip line
The 22 members of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security represented various backgrounds including homeland security, local police, local school personnel, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and mental health.
The 2013 Report of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security can be viewed in its entirety online at www.ok.gov/ltgovernor.
The city of Worcester, Massachusetts is asking citizens to bring their weapons to the police department next weekend as part of the city’s annual “Goods for Guns Buyback Program.” In return for the guns, the city will offer gift certificates, and – a free flu shot.
“City residents, or residents of any other community, may bring their unwanted weapons, unloaded and wrapped in a bag, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to the Worcester Police headquarters in Lincoln Square, or from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 to the Worcester Division of Public Health, 25 Meade St.”
Since the program began in 2002, “Goods for Guns” has collected approximately 2,200 guns. Last year 40 guns were collected by the police department. Deputy Chief McGinn said guns that are turned in are destroyed.
The program allows individuals to anonymously turn in “unwanted and unloaded” guns to the police department. In return, citizens are presented with a Wegman’s gift certificate. The value of the gift depends on the type of gun. For example, a long rifle earns a $25 gift certificate; handguns earn a $50 gift certificate, and a semiautomatic weapon, a $75 gift certificate.
This year, citizens of Worcester can receive a free flu shot for turning in a weapon. Also, individuals who bring guns directly from home to the police station will be granted amnesty if they are not properly licensed.
McGinn has said, “Come one, come all. We’re not asking any names or questions.”
The “Goods for Guns Program” is similar to buyback programs across the country:
In Cleveland, citizens can exchange guns for gift cards and sports tickets. Hartford, Connecticut offers gift cards for guns as well – $75 for handguns or revolvers and $25 for rifles and shotguns.
Evanston, Illinois is also considering a gun buyback program after a high school freshman was shot in September, although city officials are skeptical about its effectiveness:
Sara Schastok, president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation says, “Of course, no one is under the illusion that people who intend harm as a way of life are necessarily going to turn in their guns.”
Black Friday gun sales hit an all time record high last week with demand for new firearms so overwhelming that it caused outages at the FBI background check center on two separate occasions.
Fueled by fears that the Obama administration will go after gun rights during a lame duck term, the FBI reported 154,873 background check requests on Friday – a 20 per cent increase on last year’s record total of 129,166 checks.
The number of guns sold could actually be double or more that figure because only one background check is recorded per sale even if buyers purchase multiple firearms.