Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Zero Tolerance" Still Means Zero Sense

The American Thinker has a post with which we are in complete agreement: the argument against "zero tolerance" policies. Zero Tolerance scores a zero, whether it's guns, drugs or whatever the subject may be.

The increasing enactment of these zero-thinking policies for 7-year-olds and other students are another sign that those in charge of education are in need of one that includes thinking skills. Examples are provided by the Thinker:
Just ask the 7-year-old in New Jersey who was suspended for drawing a smiling stick figure shooting another smiling stick figure with a gun. He reportedly also drew pictures of a skateboarder, a ghost, King Tut, a tree, and a Cyclops. These are still apparently not yet illegal acts of art.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, high school student Amber Dauge faced expulsion for accidentally taking a butter knife to school. She says that she ran out of the house to meet the bus while making a sandwich and when she realized she had the knife, she put it in her bookbag, and later left it in her locker at. A few weeks later, the butter knife fell out, fellow students saw it, a teacher intervened, and the over-reaction commenced. The knife was seized, Amber was suspended, and the process of expelling her from high school began.
Supposedly, the reason education administrators get the big bucks is because they have to exercise judgment. Zero-tolerance policies are like a color-by-numbers for those running the schools; i.e., there's not a lot of thinking involved. The losers? The usual ones, the kids.

Zero-tolerance policies haven't prevented one outbreak of violence in American schools. The policies have kept schoolchildren amazingly safe from butter knives, stick figures, plastic army men, and other kids who might make "bang" sounds while waving their fingers about on the playground. What they have also prevented is any outbreak of common sense among education honchos in charge of our schools' safety.

Zero tolerance continues to equal zero sense. It's something that administrators will talk about while deciding what traditional subjects to next chop from the curriculum. What's the chance zero tolerance policies will see a downturn in popularity among the educational elite without strong parental outrage?

About zero.

by Mondoreb


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