Just say no-no: Little known school gaffes

Who can forget Jonathan Prevette, the North Carolina kindergartener who was suspended from school for kissing a classmate on the cheek? (That was sexual harassment, of course.)

According to the nonprofit foundation govwatcher.org, such incidents– brought about by the "zero tolerance" policies implemented in schools across the nation over the last decade– are plentiful. Remember the sixth grader suspended because the chain on her Tweety Bird wallet was too long (I tawt I taw a weapon!) and the high school student suspended for packing Midol (it cramped her style!)?

Fortunately for local students, both Albemarle and Charlottesville make disciplinary decisions on a case-by-case basis, so we probably won't see a five-year-old booted for leaving the bathroom with his zipper down. But there are still some big-time no-nos around here, some of which may come as a surprise.


1) Everyone knows you can't have guns, tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs on school grounds at any time, but did you know that cell phones and beepers are also verboten in both school systems? (They're allowed at after-school activities, however.)


2) Talking back is unacceptable, and so is refusing to talk– specifically, to identify yourself when asked by school personnel. In Albemarle, that violation is punishable by suspension.


3) Unauthorized sales don't pay– and that includes such things as running a little candy business out of the locker room, or littering classmates' lockers with Avon brochures.


4) They might make that class presentation look sharp, but laser pointers– those red beams that mimic a gun's sight– will end up pointing you right back home.


5) Think you can do better than a classmate on that Algebra test? Don't bet on it. Seriously, don't bet on it. Gambling is a no-go in both Albemarle and Charlottesville.


6) What Not to Wear may be a hit show, but don't test it at school. In Albemarle, "inappropriate dress or appearance"– anything that can "present health or safety problems or cause disruption"– will win you a school-sanctioned makeover. In Charlottesville, hats, tank-tops and muscle shirts are fashion don'ts.