A 10th-grade student in Bedford, Ohio, was giving a presentation on the importance of healthy eating when he did something that got him suspended for five days. What was his breach?
He tried to slice an apple.
According to WOIO-TV, Da'von Shaw was demonstrating alternatives to fried food, and he remembered the slogan, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." He was showing the class how apples and dried cranberries can be a satisfying snack, but the teacher objected when he tried to slice the apple.
“When I took out the knife, the teacher then told me that I couldn't use it," Shaw said. "I didn't hesitate. I just gave it to her."
Shaw went about his day, unaware that he was in trouble, until he found out at the end of the day that he would be suspended for five days for bringing a weapon to school.
Shaw's mother, Shakila Wilson, strongly objected to the punishment, saying it doesn't take the circumstances into consideration.
“I can take off my belt and use that as a weapon," she said. "Pens and pencils can be used as a weapon. You can't take a person with no intentions to harm and put them as a criminal, because that's what you normally do.”
Superintendent Sherman Micsak told WOIO that Shaw's punishment could have been up to a year.
Shaw is not the first person to run afoul of "zero tolerance" policies in American schools.
Students have been suspended for shaping their thumb and index finger to look like a gun (also known as a "level two lookalike firearm"), making "gun noises" while pointing a pencil and pretending to be a Marine, and for chewing a pastry into the shape of a firearm.
After the latest incident, Reason's Lenore Skenazy wrote that Americans are being trained to "accept safety hysteria as a way of life."
"As a high school student who sliced an apple without considering the enormous threat this posed to his fellow students, he failed," Skenazy added. "But after five days at home to reflect on what he did, perhaps he will be ready to become a good, quaking, danger-hallucinating American."
More on the story via WOIO-TV: