Assuming that there is not anything more that we are not being told, this story about a 6-year-old facing 45 days in reform school for bringing his cub scout knife to class, has an obvious racial subtext.
Education experts say that zero-tolerance policies initially allowed authorities more leeway in punishing students, but were applied in a discriminatory fashion. Many studies indicate that African-Americans were several times more likely to be suspended or expelled than other students for the same offenses.
Translation: African-American students were, on average, less well-behaved, and if people exercised sensible discretion, this fact would actually be reflected in the statistics. So sensible discretion is not allowed.
Update:Why do I have the feeling that "for the same offenses" conflates bringing a cooking utensil to school with, e.g., playing mumblety-peg (link goes to wikipedia article on mumblety-peg, not to any news story)?
That is all.