The superintendent of a taxpayer-funded school district in Pennsylvania has banned forks from the high school cafeteria because too many students have been using the utensils to stab each other.
Sto-Rox High School in the gritty Pittsburgh suburb of McKees Rocks is the site of the new fork-free policy, according to local NBC affiliate WPXI.
The superintendent, Frank Dalmas, implemented the policy and other draconian measures last week to keep students in line.
There have been fights involving injuries. (It’s not clear if these fights are fork-related.) There has been drug use in bathrooms.
In addition to forks, table knives have also been banned from the cafeteria in response to student behavior. Spoons appear to remain legal — for now.
Also, students at Sto-Rox High can no longer obtain hall passes for bathroom breaks during classes.
Dalmas, who reportedly brings home a generous salary of $125,000 per year, indicated that he has instituted the ban on forks and table knives because students had used them to stab each other. The superintendent suggested — in a heroic bout of circular reasoning — that students will not be able to have forks and knives until they stop using forks and knives to stab and otherwise hurt each other.
Dalmas also provided an explanation for the prohibition on hall passes for bathroom breaks.
“From time to time schools must limit the use of hall passes, monitor the time students take moving from one class to another, and thoroughly investigate situations that hinder the learning process,” he said in a statement obtained by WPXI.
“This redirection is a change to students’ normal routines and change is sometimes hard.”
Many parents are not happy with the new policies.
“They are taking the kids’ utensils from them for lunch, tell them to eat with their fingers and they are not allowed to use bathrooms,” one irate parent told the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate. “It’s just ridiculous.”
In April 2016, a gunman shot a 17-year-old Sto-Rox High student outside the school. The student was wounded in the arm.
Teachers criticized the administrative response to the shooting, observing that there was no district-wide lockdown and that children at a nearby elementary school were released to traipse into school buses while police actively cased the area for the shooter.