Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense

This is where all the anti-gun, anti-knife, anti-drug hand-wringing and whining gets us to, silly rules that punish children for just being children. I thought all this was supposed to be “for the children” School staff and administrators, educated people, hiding behind zero- tolerance policies, so they do not have to make a judgment call, you know, an adult decision based on the facts at hand.

In the last few days there have been more of these ridiculous zero-tolerance suspensions / punishments in the news. I dare to say that I bet the stories that we read about are just a small fraction of how often this happens, most of the stories never make it to the media. The kids take their punishment or the parents fight the battle and then hush up for fear of retaliation on their child.

For Instance: “Virginia Teen Suspended, Facing Criminal Charges for Shooting Plastic Spitballs in School”

Spitballs. Dangerous weapons? Really? In the picture they look like those little Airsoft BBs, and they’re a lot softer than the dried peas that we use to spit out of the “Pea Shooters” that we used to buy at the corner “school store.” If we got caught with them in class they got taken away. Now it is a criminal charge of assault and expulsion from school. The boy is then sent to “a diversion program – which includes community service and substance abuse and anger management counseling”


So tell me how it is helping this kid to put him in a school of delinquents and give him “substance abuse and anger management counseling” When he has a problem with neither?

Next is this gem: “Cops Charge 7-Year-Old for Bringing Toy Gun to Class Kid charged with possession of a fake firearm after shooting Nerf-style gun”

“Hammonton Police began an investigation into the ‘suspicious activity’ at the Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center”
“Police charged the 7-year-old with possessing an imitation firearm in or on an education institution – a misdemeanor and a minor juvenile offense in New Jersey.”

The police for a 7 year old, seriously? Suspicious activity, give me a break, he’s 7. They charged a 7 year old for a Nerf-type gun. It boggles the mind.

The even quote another parent about this so called incident

Deseire Gherard, a parent of one of the students at the school, agrees with the policy.

‘I’d rather it be dealt with more severely than not,” said Gherard. “I would rather them go a little bit too far for the safety of all the children then to say ‘okay, it was probably nothing.'”

I sure hope Deseire’s kid never gets busted with a Tylenol, I wonder if she would feel the same way if that was her kid.

Now it gets even sillier, but not for this family “First grader punished for finger pointing”

“School officials — without confirming the identity of the boy in question — said a student pointed his finger like a gun repeatedly, even after being told ‘on more than one occasion’ not to do it.”

For crying out loud he’s seven, maybe a time-out or a missed recess might be in order, sheesh I’m surprised they didn’t call the cops on this one too.

Recently there was a study done in New York City about the drastic increase in suspensions since Mayor Bloomberg has been in office. it seem that the New York City schools suspend nearly twice as many students as they did a decade ago and the lengths of suspensions are longer.  Check out  “Education Interrupted: The Growing Use of Suspension in New York City Schools

Earlier this week I ran across this story “Ceremonial swords allowed in Plymouth-Canton School District”

It seems that this school district in Michigan is allowing children of the Sikh religion to carry their ceremonial dagger to school. It looks like some reasoning and logic might have occurred there.  Could this finally be the chink in the armor for zero-tolerance?

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9 Responses to Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense

  1. alcade says:

    I believe you overlook the benefits of zero tolerance policies. They are actually of the utmost importance to our society.

    Zero tolerance policies help us to not think for ourselves, so we can grow up to become good Democrats.

    Whoops… I think that was what they called “rhetoric”!

  2. JimShyWolf says:

    Really- I read or hear about instances as these and can only shake my head in total disbelief… and when I had to live through one with my son, I developed zero tolerance for Zero Tolerance and those morons who approve of and display inclination to enforce it.
    Shy III

    • Gail says:

      Me too, I recently went through this with one of my grandsons and believe me it was horrible but there was not way I would have allowed him to go to one of those “Alternative Schools.” It was nasty and involved lawyers but we did prevail, now he’s walking on pins and needles at his school. I thought I was done with the school BS when my kids grew up but it’s even worse now for my grandchildren. Parents really need to stand up and get these unfair rules changed.

  3. dustydog says:

    We’re told that a 17 year old who commits murder isn’t an adult, shouldn’t be tried as an adult, shouldn’t be punished as a adult. How can a child be guilty of anything?

    Zero tolerance would stop, if parents starting pressing charges against the real criminals – the adults acting in loco parentis. At a minimum, the teacher and principal should face charges of aiding and abetting, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In most cases, tampering with evidence and intimidating witnesses will be appropriate charges. In many cases, the union and school board would be up on RICO charges.

    If we pretend that a child could be criminally responsible for bringing a nerf gun to school, then that child should have legal protections, against unreasonable searches and against interrogation.

  4. Archer says:

    I’ll admit a personal experience with this kind of thing, and how it played out.

    NOTE: This was before “Zero Tolerance” policies, and I believe this how all these cases should be handled.

    When I was about eight, a friend hand-made me a blowgun. Just a straight tube, like a Bic pen without the writing parts. I had one dart, which was a straight (sewing) pin and some string. On a day I was going to his house after school, I’d brought it with me. The teacher saw it, and it was a trip to the principal’s office for me.

    No suspension. No expulsion. (Before “Zero Tolerance,” remember?) It was confiscated, and I went back to class. I was told I could get it after school, and sternly warned not to bring it again. I did, and didn’t, and that was the end of the matter.

    The NERF gun and the plastic BBs should have been handled like this. The finger pointing is just ridiculous.

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