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Common sense is best policy in some situations

March 20, 2012
Morning Journal News

Sometimes common sense has to supersede policy.

Usually, we would agree with a zero tolerance policy regarding weapons or ammunition being brought onto school property.

However, in the case of the 9-year-old boy who recently brought three .38-caliber bullets onto an East Liverpool city school bus, the age of the student should be considered when determining the punishment.

The East Liverpool school district has a policy which calls for a 10-day suspension, during which an expulsion hearing will be held that may include the superintendent, principals and police officers.

This child appears to have innocently carried the ammunition onto the bus with no intentions of inflicting harm to anyone. At this young age he probably did not even realize the danger involved

The child's grandfather obtained the bullets in a box of assorted items he purchased at the Rogers Sale. The family planned to dispose of them, and they were sitting in a cup holder in their family van, according to police, when the child apparently took them. Police said the family does not own guns, so there is a possibility the child did not know what the bullets were.

The other children on the bus are to be commended for alerting authorities to the danger. Obviously either training by the school or the students' parents has prepared them how to properly handle a situation such as this.

We hope that school officials will apply common sense to this case and be flexible when handing down the punishment. A 10-day suspension and possible expulsion seem pretty harsh considering the boy's age.



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