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School's pen, pencil ban deemed overreaction

November 28, 2010
NORTH BROOKFIELD — A ban on pens and mechanical pencils at North Brookfield Elementary School was an overreaction to an isolated incident, Interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy has said.

A recent incident involving a hollowed-out mechanical pencil was dealt with immediately, and the sixth-grader involved suspended, he said.

Then the teacher, Wendy Scott, sent home a letter to parents of sixth-graders announcing a rule that pupils could only use a school-issued regular pencil, and were not allowed to bring, use or carry any other pens or pencils.

The letter also said that any pens or mechanical pencils that students had would be considered "weapons."

Noseworthy said administrators did not approve of — or even know about — the new rule, or the letter that was sent home.

"That letter should not have been received," he said. "The principal didn't see the letter. It went home to one class."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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