Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 20, 2010

From the Annals of Zero Tolerance

It’s pretty amazing that, after all the BS, Zero Tolerance policies are still being used in school districts around the nation.  Last week brought the ridiculous story of a kid being suspended for suspected drug use because his eyes were bloodshot a few days after his dad died. The week before that had a kid going to juvie school for a year because he has a Swiss Army Knife.

But this.  This takes the cake:

Samuel Burgos has fond memories of his friends at school, but he only gets to see them in pictures now.

The 8-year-old boy hasn’t been in school for a year and will likely miss another year if the Broward County School Board has its way.

Burgos was suspended from school in November after a teacher found a toy gun in his backpack. But when the boy went to register to go back to Pembroke Pines Charter School, he was told he will be expelled for this school year, too, as part of the county’s zero tolerance weapons policy.


School board officials said the rules are quite clear and that the toy gun constituted a weapon. A school board report on the incident mentions that Samuel showed the toy gun to another student and it was capable of firing projectiles.

That’s all it takes for it to be considered a weapon.

This is what is called doubling down on a dumb decision.  The kid should not have been suspended for a year to begin with.  And now, refusing to acknowledge that they were stupid, the school wants to suspend him indefinitely.  Had he beaten the shit out of another kid, he wouldn’t be punished this badly.

I propose a zero tolerance policy on zero tolerances policies.  From now on, anyone who enforces one like this should be booted out of their school and employed by one of the schools for problem students.  Maybe if they see actual problem kids who actually do bad things, they’ll get some fucking perspective on Swiss Army knives, bloodshot eyes and toy guns.

(All of these stories come from Lenore Skenazy’s Free Range Kids blog, which is a must-bookmark.)

Posted by Hal_10000 on 09/20/10 at 10:23 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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