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Razor Blade Incident Poorly Handled

December 25, 1994

The treatment received by Tyler Palmer ("Boy Transferred in Razor Incident," Dec. 15) is the grossest form of child abuse that any innocent child could suffer. What has happened to us as Americans? Are we so bent on revenge now that we've decided 5-year-olds are equivalent to adults? Even in churches, 5-year-olds are not considered to have reached the "age of reason."

I am sick that mature adults can treat a little child with such malice and vindictiveness. And these are "educators?" Whatever happened to the "timeout" in the principal's office when we did something quite wrong? If he had found a pill on the ground and decided to taste it, would the Centralia School District board have suspended him?

Shame on every adult who had input into this form of policy that abuses little children, and a bigger shame on the adults who haven't the common sense to work out when a policy does or does not need enforcing.

MARGARET WALSHE

Costa Mesa

* The school board's "zero-tolerance," action of kicking out a 5-year-old kindergartner from school because he found a razor blade and showed it to his classmate is unbelievable. It is actually a "zero-brainer" on the part of the school board--a triumph of paranoia over reason.

JAMES R. GALLAGHER

Huntington Beach

* Any 5-year-old will pick up something interesting--a marble, a bug, a coin, a rock, a paper clip. This time it just happened to be a razor blade. Why didn't the bus driver say, "Here son, that's dangerous, you'd better give it to me"? The child had no intention of slitting someone's throat.

Incidentally, what efforts are made to educate the K through 6 children about what "weapons of any kind" might be, and what to do about them?

VIRGINIA FAULKNER

Orange

* Regarding the Buena Park 5-year-old who brought the razor blade to school:

I applaud the geniuses of the Buena Park school district who brought swift action against the kindergartner for picking up a razor blade (curiosity) and showing it to the other kids (sharing). At last, someone is standing up against crime.

I saw the boy's picture in the paper. Sure, he looked cute, even innocent, but underneath the baby fat, behind those sparkling eyes, there lurks a criminal mind.

This is his first strike. Two more, and I say off with his head!

MICHAEL PANNO

Laguna Beach

* Most people regard disposable razor blades as implements for shaving. Given the school district's mentality, maybe the blade should be used for a lobotomy on the trustees.

JIM STOTLER

Newport Beach

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