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Del. 1st Grader Faces Reform School For Camp Tool

A Delaware first-grader who wanted to eat lunch at school with his favorite camping utensil, a combination of folding fork, knife and spoon, now faces 45 days in reform school.

Hundreds of people were expected to attend a school board meeting Tuesday evening to object to the suspension of 6-year-old Zachary Christie from Downes Elementary School for bringing the camping utensil from home.

The folding knife is banned as a dangerous instrument under the Christina School District's zero-tolerance policy in the student code of conduct and officials said they have to act regardless of his age or what he planend to do with the instrument.

Zachary's mother, Debbie Christie, is appealing her son's suspension and said she'd prefer that the district's policy take into consideration a child's age and intent.

"I understand why they have it, but I don't agree with the implementation of it," she told NBC's "Today."

In an interview on CBS' "Early Show" on Tuesday, Zachary said weapons don't belong in school.

"I agree that they shouldn't bring dangerous weapons to school but I don't think the punishment should be this bad," Zachary said. "It's not fair."

Zachary is being homeschooled for now.

"I do sometimes miss my friends and want to go back," Zachary said.

State Rep. Terry Schooley, who sponsored a bill to give districts more flexibility on punishments, expects a crowd at Tuesday's school board meeting.

"This has gotten really crazy. It's ridiculous," Schooley said. "There are going to be hundreds of people at the school board meeting. It's going to be a circus."

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