Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pens, pencils, and weapons-building

Pens and pencils are in the news in Worcester (“Woosta”), Massachusetts:

A letter banning the possession of anything but a school-issued No. 2 yellow pencil in sixth-grade classes at North Brookfield Elementary School “went over the line,” the school superintendent [Gordon L. Noseworthy] said yesterday [November 16]. The letter that was sent home indicated teachers were dealing with a discipline problem and believed the ban would address the issue.

Wendy Scott, one of two sixth-grade teachers, sent a letter home to the parents of all sixth-graders announcing that she and Susan LaFlamme were instituting a new rule barring students from carrying any writing implements on their person, in a backpack or on the school bus. . . .

The teachers’ memo explained that the change was being made because of behavior problems and indicated that any student found in possession of a pen or mechanical pencil after Nov. 15 would be “assumed” to have the implement “to build weapons,” or to have “stolen” it from the classroom art supply basket. . . .

Meanwhile, Police Chief Aram Thomasian Jr. yesterday said he was approached on Friday by parents of one student who had been suspended for having a pen that had been altered to fire a rolled up piece of paper.

“The student showed me how it worked. I’d be surprised if the spitball traveled 4 feet. And at that, I’m not even sure it had any spit on it,“ he said.

Pen is mightier than the teacher (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
A related post
Broken pencil sharpener nets suspension

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