Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Zero Tolerance

Our local paper printed an editorial recently about the zero tolerance policy most schools have.  In it, the author indicated that most times, situations should be taken on a case by case basis, rather than a blanket zero tolerance.  I must admit that I totally agree. 
My son had a situation that ended up suspending him for three days.  He was found with a small pen knife in his backpack along with brass knuckles which he was going to use as an art project.  Due to the school’s policy, he was taken to the local police station and fingerprinted and then sent home with us.  Admittedly, my son was no honor roll student, but still, this kind of treatment served as just another notch in an already hardened view he has against the police.
I understand the reasoning behind such a policy but the administration of these policies can only cause heartache for many students.  One hears story after story of students who otherwise are stellar performers having a situation that because of these policies have issues that follow them onto college.  It marks their records and ends up giving them and their parents a really bad taste about their high school experience.  There are often very simple reasons for why they are in possession of a small penknife or other transgressions, and many times it could be handled in a way that will not permanently scar them.  I believe it is time to take a giant step backward to a time when school boards and administrations have a little faith in their students.   

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