Remember the 6-year-old boy who faced a 45-day stretch in reform school? Happily, the local school board had a "What were we thinking" moment and made the right decision. Things were different in Troy, N.Y., however.
The powers that be in Troy suspended an Eagle Scout, 17-year-old Matthew Whelan, for having a small pocketknife in his car. Matthew took the Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” seriously and had survival items in his car in case he got stuck somewhere. Things like a sleeping bag, food, water, and yes, a small knife his grandfather gave him. And now we know where these new terrorists get their weapons.
Here is where the story gets weird. Someone told an administrator that Matthew had a knife. School officials asked him if he had one on him and he said no. Nor was it in his locker. He even volunteered to tell them about his kit in his car and said he would show them. After he took them to his car and got it out, did they shrug their shoulders and say no problem? No, they called the police. The police told them he wasn’t breaking any law. Did they have an aha moment? Nope! They suspended him for 5 days, had a hearing and decided this weapon was so bad that they tacked on another 15 days.
Matthew is concerned about all the school he is missing. His goal is to get into West Point, so he's worried about how this will look on his record.
But the school board is not backing down. The superintendent, George Goodwin, said, “We look at possession of any knife very seriously." Even the N.Y. State Education Department doesn’t consider this knife a weapon. Again I ask you . . . whatever happened to common sense? Don’t they teach it in schools?
What a country we live in. We feel sorry for a mastermind terrorist who sets out to kill all Americans and was waterboarded, and we suspend from school a fine, legal citizen because he was prepared.
Maybe the school board in Delaware can contact the Troy board and help them find their own plain old common sense.