An 11-year-old girl at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines, Florida was suspended for six days after using a butter knife at lunchtime to cut a peach.
Her parents, Ronald and Andrea Souto, are outraged. “There’s no one there trying to educate and to be reasonable to say, ‘Let’s work this out,'” the girl’s father said.
Their daughter is an honor roll student who has apparently violated the county’s weapon policy by using her child-safe knife. “This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one-year-old,” Andrea Souto said. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was a baby.” (We’re thinking it looked something like the picture below.)
Apparently, one of her friends asked for half of the peach, so she used the knife to slice it in half so she could share. Her parents are now concerned that her simple, harmless act of kindness could lead to criminal charges.
“She’s afraid now of the educators. She’s afraid of people at school. They need to change the system,” Ronald Souto said.
A spokeswoman from the school district wasn’t able to make a specific comment because of student privacy, but she said, “The school followed district policy regarding this incident and continues to work with the student and parents involved. It is the district’s priority to maintain safe and secure campuses for students and staff at all times.”
This is definitely not the kind of weapons policy that needs defending.