Zachary Christie violated the Christina School District's zero-tolerance on knives by bringing his three-in-one knife, fork and spoon to school to eat lunch. District officials said they suspended the first-grader because knives are banned, regardless of the possessor's intent.
"It just seems unfair," said Zachary, who takes school so seriously he sometimes wears a suit and tie to class, by choice.
"He is not some sort of threat to his classmates," Zachary's mother, Debbie Christie, told The New York Times in a story published Monday.
Similar policies exist around the country, established in part by the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings, The Times reported. Now, there is increasing debate over whether the policies have gone too far.
George Evans, head of the Christina school board, defended his district's policy but said the board might consider adjusting the rules for children as young as Zachary.