The K-12 Educational Establishment Is Full of Idiots.

by Little Miss Attila on December 29, 2010

Details here. The short version of the story is that a high school girl got her lunch mixed up with her dad’s, because they have matching lunch boxes. Her father had packed a small paring knife in his, so he could eat an apple that day. Now the girl is suspended. No, really.

Via Insty, who remarks

“Bottom line is we want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus.” Not safe from idiots like you, Mr. Moss. Because you’re unwilling to take responsibility for discipline, you formulate and enforce rules that make public schools — and now, particularly, yours — a national joke. From the comments: “Let’s have the students feel safe. How about letting them feel like their entire lives and livelihood aren’t at risk at your institution from an honest mistake. You are ruining this child’s life and future because some bonehead can’t recognize an honest mistake.”

It’s beginning to seem like placing your children in public schools is placing them at unacceptable risk.

Closely related.

UPDATE, THURS. 12/30: An emergency hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. The updates are all filed at the end of this story.

At issue:

- Is the school district telling the truth that the knife was actually found in this young lady’s purse? And . . . are they mistaken there? Because I’ve had a non-typical lunchbox mistaken for a purse in the past. (My boss, back at Sports Afield: “Why are you putting your purse in the refrigerator?”)
Because even if a school administrator cannot tell that a lunchbox with newfangled styling is a lunchbox and not a purse, the presence of foodstuffs and the absence of a wallet should tip them off.

- Why is the school district continuing to give out apparently misleading statements about the duration of the suspension? Statements like “she’s still enrolled” are obvious attempts to prevaricate.

- If the family went to the media instead of using “the normal appeals process,” why? They might be publicity hounds. On the other hand, they might feel that a school district that continues to refer to a lunchbox as a purse, and disregards the close proximity of a whole apple to a tiny paring knife, is a bit light on its listening skills and can only be reached through the media, if at all.

My mind is open, but I am feeling very skeptical about the school district’s story at this point.

UPDATE II: According to this story (via Instapundit), Miss Smithwick is suggesting that she placed the lunchbox inside her larger tote, which would make the school district’s statement that the knife was “in her purse” technically correct–it appears that she uses an oversized bag to carry books, lunchbox, wallet and all–but an obvious dodge.

UPDATE III: The School Board’s Statement–

Statement from Lee County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss Regarding Ashley Smithwick

This is in response to the media coverage of the alleged long-term suspension of Ashley Smithwick, a student at Southern Lee High School. The facts recited by the media are erroneous and without foundation.

On October 20, 2010, a faculty member at Southern Lee High School discovered a student on campus with marijuana. Based upon information obtained in the interview between school administration and the student in question, a search of several other students, including Miss Smithwick, was promptly conducted. During this search, a 3-inch paring knife was found on the person of Miss Smithwick in her purse. The knife was not found in Miss Smithwick’s lunchbox as reported by her family and the media.

Miss Smithwick has not been long-term suspended from Southern Lee High School. She is currently enrolled as a student at the school. Over two months after the event it is a mystery to us that the Smithwick’s concerns were not brought to our attention by the family through normal appeal procedures prior to going to the press.

Well, it doesn’t seem that “mysterious” to me, since the Board has just publicly accused the entire Smithwick family of lying about this. The school district had damned well better have eyewitness accounts to back up this assertion that the knife was not found in that lunchbox–and the continued use of artful, vague language about the suspension doesn’t make me really hopeful that they’ve got it, either.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

John December 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Doctorate in Education from an American university = moron.


ponce December 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm


Can’t these idiotic school administrators see this girl is white?


John December 30, 2010 at 6:17 am

Of course they can. That’s why it was safe to go after her.

Administrators do what is safe. Always.


Alan Kellogg December 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Zero tolerance policies are a way for people in authority to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. It’s cowardice in action and the sooner primary education gets some viable competition the better off we shall all be.

BTW, when a knife (the kirpan) is found on a Sikh boy what is the policy then?


seamus me boy December 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm

As to the Kirpan, it would need to be sewn into the garment so that it could not be extracted without a great deal of effort :-)

Really though, in education there are great examples to show how parents (yes, whole families willlie), and there are great examples of cowardly administrators. In this case I smell a deeper investigation surrounding the pot, and using the knife was a solid and easy way to get this young lady to either cooperate,or be removed fromschool.


Darrell December 30, 2010 at 4:33 am

Crawl back in your hole, ponce.
The adults not pushing a Leftist agenda are having a discussion.
Go to Kos or the DU is you want to join the chorus asking for the death penalty.
I know the Left doesn’t trust their teachers and school administrators to think.
So the policy says “knife” so they throw out a kid because his G.I. Joe has a one-inch total plastic Ka-Bar.
Once you venture into “stupid” there’s no going back.
Equal mistreatment under the law.
And shared misery.
It’s what the Left brings.


Foxfier December 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

Somehow, I went through all of school with my little pocketknife. No issues. >.<


Darrell December 30, 2010 at 9:53 am

I liked the policy on Japan Airline (JAL) in Kill Bill with
holsters for your samurai sword built into every seat.


Maureen December 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

My PacBell keyring pocketknife is still the best business freebie ever.


ponce December 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Oh my, am I being censored?

“The school district had damned well better have eyewitness accounts to back up this assertion that the knife was not found in that lunchbox”

But hysterical wingnuts like Instacracker and his sycophants are free to post whatever crap fits their absurd extremist dogma?


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 12:14 am

Censored as in “ignored.”


This is notice that the Lee County Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting regarding a student disciplinary issue on Friday, December 31, 2010, at 9 a.m. The meeting will be held in the Heins Education Building, 106 Gordon Street, Sanford.

Please use the back entrance of the building and take the elevator to the Basement. The meeting will be held in the Assembly Room which is directly across from the elevator.

“[A}bsurd extremist dogma" as in common sense. If you ever have a lucid moment, ponce, maybe you can explain how a Conservative can ever be extreme. If a Conservative [believing in limited government] goes to one extreme [no government], doesn’t that make that person an anarchist[one of your pals]? To the other extreme [total government], a totalitarianist [definitely not a Conservative]? Yeah, we belive in the US Constitution–radical stuff! It was written over a hundred years ago, you know, as all you Lefties are just beginning to realize. Hey, your pal Hugo Chavez in Venezuela has pushed through his agenda after his power play allowing him to rule by decree…what were his first acts? For good measure or bad, the President’s supporters have also rushed through a stack of last-minute laws that regulate the Internet, prohibit nongovernmental organizations from receiving foreign funding, prevent lawmakers from voting against their political party and make it easier for the government to intervene in banks. Does any of this look familiar to you, ponce? Yeah, it looks like the Dems are on the same page here.
You and the rest of the nutroots should be so proud.


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 12:15 am

Closed italics.


ponce December 31, 2010 at 12:36 am

“If a Conservative [believing in limited government] goes to one extreme [no government], doesn’t that make that person an anarchist[one of your pals]?”

Haha, if I ever run into a “conservative ” who’s actually in favor of limited government and the Constitution I’ll let you know Pureel.

Maybe you’re the first?

Simple question: How much do you think we should cut the defense budget by?


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 1:36 am

National defense would fit the definition of a legitimate role of limited government, as the Constitution points out.
Money for ACORN or “climate chaos,” not so much.
Nice way to ignore the rest of the points and to ignore the question. I guess you haven’t had a moment of lucidity yet. Or ever.


ponce December 31, 2010 at 2:01 am

So your small government insight is we should trim nothing from the bloated defense budget?


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 7:23 am

Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress since 2004, so we know that it’s running lean and mean.
Just ask Nancy. There was even room to play around with social engineering, wasn’t there? You wouldn’t do that unless everything else was in tip
top shape.


ponce December 31, 2010 at 11:12 am


I’ll wager the weasel you just pulled is the same one the so-called small government Republicans will pull in the upcoming session of Congress.


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Wrong again, ponce-de-lie-on.
People can figure that the trillions of dollars wasted by the Democrats could have been put to some useful purpose.
Other than telling Africans to wash their balls.
And pursuing a national energy policy that was written by the Unibomber after he embraced his inner Luddite.
Obama might want to pick up his birth certificate before he leaves Hawaii on January 4th. His next employer may not be so gracious as to take his word on its existence. While Obama was calling Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie to praise him for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance to play football, he should have thought about all the calls he skipped to families of fallen servicemen and women. I know he can’t do everything that Bush did, but he should try a little harder.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve, ponce, watching the festive car burning rituals in France. I hear that Dem strategists like Frances Fox Piven are hoping for that to happen here soon, so that their agenda can continue unimpeded. Enjoy the other shoe drop.


ponce December 31, 2010 at 12:47 pm


All your wingnut smokescreen is doing is marking your position.

Either the Republicans are willing to reduce the size of their Pentagon pork trough or they aren’t.

Nothing else matters.


Darrell December 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Fine. Take 30% off every line item in the budget.
That a good start for now.
We can decide later where what to eliminate.
Now go wash whatever you find in your drawers.
That can be your resolution this year.


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