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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 13, 2009 12:46 PM

The Zero Tolerance Tyrants claim another victim:

Zachary is six years old and was a first grader at Downes Elementary School in Newark, Delaware.

He is a smart, happy, outgoing child who plays Little League Baseball, is a Cub Scout, studies martial arts, is actively involved in his church youth group, and is actively involved in school activities. Last year he participated in the school talent show, the science fair, and the PTA “Reflections” Art Contest, for which he won first place in the State of Delaware for his film, “What Is My Job?” Zachary reads above grade level and has very advanced math skills as well.

His mother is the Co-President of the Downes Elementary PTA, the Director of the Youth Ministry for Skyline United Methodist Church, was the homeroom parent for his class, and a full-time Project Management consultant. His step-father was the director of the school talent show, producer of the school yearbook, and coordinator for the Downes Elementary Mom’s Breakfast. His father is active and involved in Zachary’s life, helps out with school fundraisers and appeared with Zachary in the talent show in June.

Zachary’s education and emotional well-being have been impacted because of the zero tolerance policy of the Christina School District. He is not the only “collateral damage” that has happened due to the “zero tolerance” rules set forth in the Christina School District’s Code of Conduct. Numerous cases are heard each month which end in expulsion or “alternative placement” into the Douglass School. Many of these children are innocent victims of decisions being made based on extreme, zero tolerance rules.

On Tuesday, September 29th, Zachary brought his camping utensil to school to use at lunch (spoon, fork, bottle opener, and knife). As he was getting off the bus, a teacher asked him what he was holding in his hand. Zachary showed it to her and explained why he had brought it… to eat his lunch. The teacher gave the utensil to the principal, at which point Zach was suspended from school pending a school district hearing.

The School District committee recommended that he be alternatively placed at The Douglass School, a reform school for juvenile delinquents. This is the same school where they place children who have severe behavioral problems and who are guilty of such offenses as assault and battery, rape, drug offenses, concealing a deadly weapon, and more. Since there is absolutely zero chance that we will allow that to happen, the only hope for Zachary being able to rejoin his friends at Downes Elementary is if Christina School District Superintendent Marcia Lyles or the Christina School Board intervenes to overturn the committee’s decision.

Did you catch the fact that HE IS SIX YEARS OLD?!?!?! We haven’t spoken to anybody who believes that the zero tolerance policy is either rational or reasonable, but the District continues to follow it in spite of legislation (HB 120) that calls for school districts to use sound judgment in reviewing these cases.

There’s a school board meeting tonight for those in the Christina School District.

Petition, contact info, and more at www.helpzachary.com.


Related video at Hot Air.

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