In last Sunday's Deseret News there was a report of the expulsion of a fifth grade honor roll student from school after she accidently picked up her mother's lunch box, containing a paring knife, instead of her own lunch box and brought it to school. And when she discovered the knife she reported it to a teacher. The school administrators said they regretfully had no choice but to expel her. It was the law.
To me this is just another example of the death of common sense in the administration of bureaucratic government controls and regulations.I'm sure the school board wanted to protect students from harm by outlawing knives, etc., on the school grounds and classrooms. But shouldn't common sense have been applied in passing judgment in a case like this? It's one thing to accidently bring a paring knife to school and report it, and another thing to bring a concealed knife or other potentially harmful weapon to school. No doubt this law was badly written.
Until laws and ordinances are based on common sense so that they are flexible enough to allow for a rational interpretation, they will be subject not only to unjust enforcement but will be open to ridicule. Laws are not, or at least should not be, written for lawyers but for the welfare of every citizen.
In my opinion, if the laws of man are so rigid that there is no choice in their administration, the laws have the wrong objectives and are dictatorial. May there be a spirit of self-restraint among the regulators and more concern by the legislators for the overall intent of the laws they create and concern about what is being done with these laws and how they are being administered.
Kenneth M. Van Epps