Well it finally happened: Kids bring 2 knives into my 5th grade class

Nov 22, 1999
Sorry to get off topic, but since we were talking about school violence last week I thought it would be interesting.

Technically they were boxcutters, not knives, but one of the kids was waving his around and I wasn't amused, so I took it up. As kids often do, they say "Why do I get in trouble? He has one too!" and so I found out another kid had a long boxcutter blade.

Ah well. It's all part of the job, and why they pay us such "big" bucks... :p
I have been carring a pocket knife of some kind since 5th grade, I was just never dumb enough to wave it around. As soon as I was able to work on the farm That being from the age of 5 or 6, I have carried a pocket knife. I was taught respect for life, and respect for the tools that I carried.

It just seems to me the the younger the kid (for the most part) the less respect they have for everything. The really scary part is that I am not that old, in fact I am still quite young.
"Technically they were boxcutters,..." Aren't those pretty much just razor blades
with a handle? Not much reach, but you wouldn't want to have one touch your skin!
I hope a parent-teacher conference thing
is on the way.
I agree Matt. I'm only 29, but I see a huge difference in kids attitudes. I remember a big change in kids only 4 or 5 years younger than me when I was 19 or so. When I was a kid, you were scared/respectful of ALL older people. Especially if they were older boys, cause they could (and did) kick the crap out of you if you didn't respect them. I'm not saying that's the way it should be, but I have a sense of respect for my elders (and everyone else) that seems to be sorely lacking today. I remember having a 6 year old kid tell me to go F*** myself when I was 18 or so. Can you imagine daring to do that when YOU were 6!!

Mauirob, I am 29 too and what you said took the words out of my mouth. I believe young kids should be allowed to carry these kinds of tools if they use them as such, waving it around is careless and should be punished. Responsibility is the crux of the problem I think.
I don't know about carrying those things to school. If they were the kind I think they were, they have about a 3.5-4" blade when fully extended and they are quite literally razor sharp. I don't think there are that many kids who need to open boxes at school, and too many really bad things could happen. One way or the other, waving 'em around in class means you don't know how to handle them, so that's the end of that. I'm with Uncle Bill; I'd like to hear what they said for themselves.

I think one part of responsibility is teaching that there's a time and a place for things, and outside of that setting you just have to not do it.

Still and all, though, I had a little Case with a good carbon-steel blade when I was a kid. It was small enough it didn't wear a hole in your pocket but could cut fishing line and such. I wouldn't mind my kid having one of those, but I'd still think twice about him having it at school.

Again, I say it: when kids are never taught how to handle a knife, it doesn't stop them from getting them, it just assures they don't know how to handle them.

(Descending from soapbox
I carried a pocket knife since I can't remember when. But back n those days every one of the boys carried one of some sort. And the teachers knew who had the sharpest ones because they would call you by name and ask to borrow your knife to cut open a box or anything else that needed cut to open it.

One day in my 9th grade English class, where no one was allowed to speak unless you were called on, one of the boys,Boyd, had the hickups. Mrs Brown called me to her desk and told me to pick up the tomahawk I had laying by my chair and to holler and act like I was going to hit Boyd
with it to scare him.
Well I had to do it to keep on her good side, but what she didn't know was that Boyd wasn't that easily scared and for anyone to do such a thing in her class was unthinkable.
But it did get a gasp out of all the girls and a few of the boys but Boyd just sat there and grinned.
Mrs Brown gave Boyd a hall pass to get a drink to stop the hickups.

But it wasn't anything to think of when one of us brought any kind of big knife or other potential weapon to school back then. And any differences were settled behind the theatre across the street after school one on one and generally had the consequences of the people involved becoming best friends instead of deadly enemies.


Indin word for lousy hunter.
Just though I'd mention that the "box cutter" knife was reported a few years ago as the favorite weapon for muggers. It can be disguised as a tool, is readily available and cheap, and doesn't requre a lot of motion to put into use.

Indeed vary scary.

Watakushi Wa Shinajin Desu

Movement, transcends movement, transcends thought--Zazen Mantra
These knives replaced razor switch blades for their fright/wound value. Pretty nasty stuff and the Police have come down hard on BG's who are found carrying them.

I carried a two blade pen knife, we all did, at a very young age. Education and responsibility go hand in hand. I wouldn't stop a youngster carrying a knife but would ensure it was for the right reason. The type of knife follows the good reasons. Box cutters and craft knives belong in the tool box. Its only because they are cheap that they are within disposable pocket money range. Therefore bought and carried for the wrong reasons.

My five year old son has helped me prepare pheasants and rabbits. He can translate how a blade works and what it could do to him. His attention span is long enough for only a couple of beasts, but that is long enough to get the point across. He fully understands the difference between real and play. He also understands that his motion stills need practicing before he can use a real knife without supervision. He knows he can use his play swords and guns whenever he wants. He knows that he only has to ask and he can have a lesson on the real article. He has cut himself by accident, under supervision, which is a lesson that we all take several times over the years. Presently he has no interest in a large machete because when he did handle it it was just too heavy. He is looking forward to when he can have his own pen knife, but is content to waite, as his play swords are far more practical fun and he cannot have both. Controled and responsible education is far superior to banning something. However, it does take application by adults to do a proper job of educating a youngster. Quality time. The other thing is that you can only go at the pace and maturity of the child.

Teachers have my full admiration.
Hi guys, sorry for not reporting back sooner. As expected, the boys got no more than 3 days home suspension (ie. 3 days of lounging at home playing Nintendo) and even came back to class that very afternoon, as if nothing happened. You didn't hear me say it, but our administrators are so browbeaten by lawsuit-threatening parents that they just will not discipline kids in any meaningful way.

As to why the kids had the blades, they were carrying them because they saw some 6th graders with them, and thought it was the cool and mature thing to have.
Heaven help us.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the principal had the power to ask the parents what THEY were going to do about it, and expel (with required home schooling) if he didn't like the answer? It'd be nice to see some way where the ball could be placed on the proper side of the court.

Doubt it would be a popular experiment.
Grocer + boxcutter = tool.
Kid + boxcutter = weapon.
You have to be able to distinguish the difference.
I'm against the prevalent zero-tolerance rules which send a kid to psychiatric evaluation for having a plastic fruit knife in her lunch-box, but when a kid brandishes something that is clearly a weapon, that's another shade of equine.
It behooves every parent of a school-age kid to get behind comprehensive and meaningful rules about weapons, brandishing of same, and the difference between a weapon and a tool. When a kid can get in trouble for DRAWING a PICTURE of a gun, or giving a girl-pal an aspirin for her painful monthlies, we've gone beyond absurdity, and the school administration has abrogated its responsibility to govern itself sanely.
Ruel, your two students definitely stepped over the line, and should be disciplined and closely watched for further problems.
In the meantime, the occasional boy with a pocket-knife should not be persecuted.
If your school system can't distinguish one from the other, work hard to change it.

The sword cannot cut itself, the eye cannot see itself.
Terry and I went to a small school in the country. Our graduating class had 60 students, back in 1988. The kids would bring guns to school & they were left in the back window of their trucks. I guess back then no one ever thought of using them on someone. Things have changed now. This post is proof. I wish I was shocked but the truth is my daughter was told at 9 years old that if she didn't drink, smoke and do drugs that she couldn't be friends with another little girl (this happened in the lunch room & was over heard). She was smart enough say no & tell us. Things got worse and I have no doubt that it would have ended in violence. The kids tormented her daily. The school did nothing. This just say no stuff in my opinion is a bunch of BULL! You have to teach your kids and pray they listen. My daughter was a good student and made good grades but I wanted more for her than she could get from them. I home school now. All of my kids have curriculum based on Bible teachings, they are tought morals, respect and responsibility. There would be alot less violence if the parents cared and the kids got their bottoms tanned when they needed it. There are alot of good teachers but there are alot of sorry ones too. I really admire you! I know how hard it is with 3 kids, I can't imagine 20 or 30. They are fortunate to have a teacher that cares.