Knife Hero Of The Day: Dennis Kaliszewski. Too Bad He Got Fired For It.

Image courtesy WikipediaDennis Kaliszewski is the kind of school bus driver I had back in the day, and I can only wish that my own kids have drivers like him: level-headed and absolutely committed to keeping his students safe. Kaliszewski made a good call on his bus (not shown) on November 14th: he learned that an elementary-school student had brought a knife on the bus, and he calmly took care of the problem.

The Parma City School District immediately fired him for it.

Here’s the dope from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

According to Kaliszewski, he was driving to his first stop when “it seemed as though the entire bus of students started to yell that a young boy had a knife in his possession.” He said he then pulled over and ordered the boy, estimated to be 8-10-years-old, three times to hand over the knife, indicating the bus wouldn’t move and the police would be called if this didn’t happen. The boy eventually came to the front of the bus and gave a small pocketknife to Kaliszewski, who said he then proceeded on the route.

Kaliszewski said he doesn’t believe the boy was threatening other students with the knife, but was simply showing it off.

“I feel I defused the situation and eliminated any danger,” he said.

The mouth-breathers at the school district HQ fired Kaliszewski the next day, because he failed to freak out and escalate the situation according to ‘protocol.’ The pusillanimous pinheads wanted him to pull the bus over (and lie to the students about why) call the police to have the child arrested, and make everyone late for class.

Instead of calling in the National Guard and turning a small pocketknife into an international incident, he defused the situation and kept everyone safe and even got them to school on time.

But they fired him for it, which is a pity for everyone. A level-headed problem solver like Kaliszewski is exactly the kind of driver we want at the wheel when things go a little weird on a school bus. I hope he sues the pants off the bastards (he’s considering it) and gets his job back.


  1. LMJ says:

    When I was in grade school, I carried my new slip joint folding knife everyday. No big deal. Now, stupid school policy requires that everyone be terrorized by the entire control chain. Insanity. Homeschool.

  2. Aharon says:

    Carrying a pocket knife on school days used to be as normal an event for boys as carrying pens and paper.

  3. David says:

    A level-headed problem solver like Kaliszewski is exactly the kind of driver we want at the wheel when things go a little weird on a school bus.

    Which is exactly why he is no longer working for the Parma City School District. There comes a point to where reformation of certain people, institutions, & orginizations is not possible.

  4. jwm says:

    I used to walk across the student parking lot at my high school. Most of the vehicles were pickups and a lot of these had shotguns and rifles hanging in the rear window.

    This type of reaction to a pocket knife is putting us squarely into the camp of the brits. Not a good sign for our future.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      My high school was a similar story: lots of pickups, with lots of .22s and .30-06s and shotguns hanging in the windows. In all those years, not one of those guns was ever brought out in anger, although a lot of them got restocked or reblued in shop class.

  5. Paul B says:

    We need to elect non morons to office. Get on you local school board and stop this nonsense.

    I am of the opinion I am committing a crime sending my son to public school. What a crock.

  6. JoshuaS says:

    Even in California a small (less than 2.5″) slipjoint pocktknife (any without a locking blade) is legal on school campuses. Might be against district policy, but not illegal.

    I wonder about the law in Ohio. Let alone the fact that they were not at school yet. Could they even have legally arrested the kid?

    Schools are screwed up.

  7. Daniel says:

    There used to be a time where folding knives (whether a Buck or a Victorinox) were common tools that barely raised an eyebrow. In fact it wasn’t that long ago, as I went to elementary school in the 90s.

  8. PubliusII says:

    The only solution for idiocy like this is for parents in the district to contact the school administration and bus company and make their lives an unending hell for acting like brainless idiots.

    And get on the school board to continue the fight for sanity.

  9. Martin says:

    The story actually makes me sad. Sure, the driver seems like a level-headed guy, but even the action that seems sensible, given the rules in place, shows a sorry state of affairs. A boy tries to bring a folding knife into school and the driver has to deal with it? Even though the boy never threatened anyone, at least as far as we know? A sad story.

    Makes me happy that I live in a country with far more sensible rules.

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Knife Hero Of The Day: Dennis Kaliszewski. Too Bad He Got Fired For It.

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