Talbot County may not have gone far enough with lacrosse suspensions

May 23, 2011

I firmly believe in the "zero tolerance" program of the Talbot County school system ("Zero common sense," May 11). However, I think they have not gone far enough to ensure the safety of our future generations.

A pencil or pen can be a very dangerous weapon when put into the wrong hands. Sharpened, a lead pencil can be lethal! In addition, if we have any Boy Scouts getting their hands on these things, we could have desk fires happening right in the middle of class. Do not underestimate what rubbing two wooden sticks together can do. Let's not even think about the possibilities. Therefore, I have a few suggestions that, if put into action, will make our schools much safer.

First and foremost, there will be no pencil sharpeners in any classroom. Pencils and pens will be secured in a locked compartment. Serial numbers will be inscribed on each. Students will sign out a pencil or pen, but of course never at the same time. Upon leaving school, students will return their pencil or pen and will exit the school avowing "No pen, no pencil."

Then, there is the "no stare rule," which I heavily encourage our school systems to consider. After watching the move, "Men Who Stare at Goats," how do we know it doesn't work with lethal consequences? I frankly do not want to take that chance. Students will wear blinders and will not be allowed to stare at an individual for more than 10 seconds. Teachers, of course, would have to be an exception. Students may stare at them for as long as they like and teachers may do likewise. Who knows? Maybe, it does work!

This comes from a parent and concerned citizen who only wants what's best.

Philip Zaczek, Catonsville

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