I carry with me a small pocket knife that my father-in-law gave me for Christmas a few years ago. It has since received some stains and lost a part, but it still sits in my pocket.
Have I mentioned that I teach? That's right, I carry a knife to school. Don't worry, it's a technical college. More on that.
Most of our kids will never carry a knife to school. If your kids are in the school system now, they may not even get plasticware at lunch. The thinking is that anything that can be a weapon is treated as a weapon. This includes tools that are used in shop class...if there even is shop class anymore.
A knife for a guy is a tool. I've used mine to cut brownies, open paint can lids, tighten and loosen screws, untie knots, get stuck CD's out of CD players, and act as a conductor for an electrical current. That one was fun.
I'm all for boys having knives to use as tools, so it's up to a responsible adult (i.e., me) to teach about safety, uses, and what not to do. A lawyer friend of mine bought his girls pink BB guns to help teach them about safety. Avoiding guns and knives completely will only teach fear; understanding them will make useful, knowledgeable adults.
In one class, a student saw my knife clipped to my pocket. He had never seen a teacher carry a knife before. I pulled it out and showed them that yes, it was in fact a knife.
This student smiled and pulled his knife out of his backpack. I heard Paul Hogan's voice in my head:
But then I realized that he had just come from an automotive repair class with all kinds of tools that commanded the torque of me hanging from a ten-foot pole. This knife was probably the least dangerous thing he touched all day.
And given the damage Jack can do with a 2-foot bamboo stick he picked up at the zoo, it will be a while before he's ready.