Zero Tolerance has struck again: eight-year-old Eathan Harris was recently suspended for the dastardly crime of realizing that Sharpie markers smelled sort of neat.
“It smelled good,” Harris said. “They told me that’s wrong.”
Well, they could have just told him. They could have just told him that it was a dumb idea, like sticking your pencil up your nose. Instead, they reacted as if he had been caught downing a malt liquor.
In his letter suspending the child, Benisch wrote that smelling the marker fumes could cause the boy to “become intoxicated.”
Really? And what do the experts say about this fear?
A toxicologist with the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center says that claim is nearly impossible.
Dr. Eric Lavonas says non-toxic markers like Sharpies, while pungent-smelling, cannot be used to get high.
So, the voice of reason has spoken. The principal’s fears were unfounded, and given that his harsh treatment was based on those fears… oh, who are we kidding:
Adams County School District 50 leaders were unfazed by the poison control center’s medical opinion. “Principals make hundreds of decisions everyday based on our best judgment. And in that time, smelling that marker, I felt like, ‘Wow, that’s a very serious marker,’” Benisch said.
Yes, people do indeed get called to make decisions on their best judgment. But sometimes they are wrong. And maybe, in those cases, it would be nice to, maybe, correct the judgment after the fact, or apologize, don’t you think?
I still find it amazing that we still live in a world in which people can happily, and without automatically feeling like fools, be unfazed by reality. And watch out folks: because that marker means business.
Note: Emphasis added to quotes. Emphasis is nearly always added. By me. In fact, if there is every emphasis that I didn’t add, how about I tell you THAT instead.