I’m concerned about the safety of children in our township

Question: A girl in my son’s fifth grade class brought a knife to school because someone had been making fun of her. The principal made a recommendation for expulsion. However, there was an appeal made by the family and now the girl is back at school. Our superintendent and school board can give me no reason why a child is ever excused from expulsion. They will only say there were extenuating circumstances. No one was hurt BUT I wonder about the safety of all children in our township which until this time I believed to have zero tolerance. Should I keep pursuing this?

Answer: Though I am not alarmed by the school’s decision, it’s clear you are not satisfied with the response you’ve gotten. Accordingly, I’d suggest a letter to the school. Hopefully, their reply will lessen your concern. Here’s a draft I put together that you can use or amend as you see fit.

Dear Superintendent:

Our son is attending your school this year. We recognize that schools face special challenges these days and we want to be certain our expectations are reasonable. If we’re off base on any of these items, please let us know.

Please revisit for us the recent incident in which a student brought a weapon to school and was not suspended. We don’t expect to disagree with your decision, but we do feel a duty to understand it.

Just as we hold you to your duty as principal, so do we ask you to hold us to ours as parents. On this point, please advise us of ways you feel we can help you develop a safer school. Knowing that you face bureaucratic, political, and budgetary challenges, there is surely something we can do to help.

We’re confident that if your office and our family work together, our son will have the best possible school experience. At the same time, we want to assist you in furthering the well-being of all the students.

Sincerely, (your names)