Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Zero Tolerance destroys another life

Swiss Army Knife In Cobb School Parking Lot Should Not Be Prosecuted
County's 'Zero Tolerance' Program Ensnares Another Student

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Atlanta, GA - Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr today blasted school officials in Cobb County, Georgia, a northwest suburb of Atlanta, for seeking to bring felony charges against a 12th grade student, Wilford Ray Chandler, Jr., for simply having a small Swiss Army knife in his car in a school parking lot at Wheeler High School.

"The student posed no threat to anyone, and he was not using the knife in any threatening manner," Barr noted, "in fact, he was not using the knife at all - it was simply in his car." "Trying to ruin a student's career before it even begins, by treating such an innocuous activity as having a Swiss Army pocketknife in a car, is nothing short of an unthinking, stupid, and vindictive exercise of government power," Barr, a former federal prosecutor, said.

Barr said he hoped the county's prosecutors, including District Attorney Pat Head and Solicitor Barry Morgan, would quickly drop any charges against the student, and thereby "exercise the common sense and understanding that county school officials and police apparently lack, as evidenced by the unyielding and ridiculous 'zero tolerance' program and the unreasonable application of the policy to a student with no criminal record or intent and who exhibited nothing that could be remotely viewed by reasonable people as criminal behavior."

For further information please visit or contact Derek Barr at 770-836-1776.

Barr, a former Member of Congress (1995-2003), also served previously as a US Attorney and with the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a lawyer and currently works with national organizations on issues related to privacy and national security.


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