Zero-Tolerance Gone Too Far
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3752) 12 years ago
This is insane.

6-Year-Old Scout Suspended for Bringing Knife-Fork-Spoon Utensil to School
http://www.foxnews.com/st...05,00.html

Do these idiot school district members REALLY believe this 6-year old is a threat to other students??? Then they order him to reform school for 45 days???

Look, I'm all for safe schools and it's sad that we have to even be talking about this but this is yet another example of zero-tolerance going too far.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 12 years ago
Kyle, pretty much ALL zero-tolerance is taking it too far.
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Posted by Joshua Austill (+92) 12 years ago
wow, just wow! I hate stupid school rules. When I was in school is was that you couldn't wear sweats, because they emitted radiation that blocked your brain from being able to learn. At least that was the only reason I could ever think of for that stupid rule. Now this for a 6 year old just blows my mind! What kind of people don't have the common sense to say hey, little johnny made a mistake, let's give him an hour of detention so he realizes you can't bring such things to school and leave it at that??? Like I said, wow, just wow!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
Zero-tolerance is zero-tolerance, Joshua. Detention isn't zero-tolerance. It sucks for the kid, but not only will he learn from his mistake, many others will as well. Want proof of that? We're talking about it right now, aren't we? Chances are you'll remember this.

Kyle, I'm not saying that I agree with the policy, but even if the 6-year old had no intention of deliberately hurting his fellow students, the utensil is still something that could accidentally hurt someone. It's not a toy. He shouldn't have had it at school.

If he intended to hurt someone, that's one thing. But even if he didn't, he had in his possession something that could have caused injury to himself or someone else. Do you think the school wants - or has the extra resources to deal with - a lawsuit?

Look at it from more than one angle. Call it CYA, call it what you will. The school is avoiding negligence. It's not a bad thing.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (10/12/2009)]
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
In the interview that I saw, even the kid's parents didn't have a problem with the rule or the enforcement of it. As it is written, it clearly states that any weapon is not to be tolerated, regardless of the intent. A gun brought for show and tell is still a gun and a cross bow brough for repairs in shop class is still a cross bow.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
The 45 day sentence to reform school is a nice little twist added by Faux News.

[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (10/12/2009)]
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Posted by Jim Brady (+432) 12 years ago
No, Derf. Read the article from the source.

The 45 day sentence to reform school was a nice little twist added by the New York Times. Fox News reported what Ian Urbina wrote.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 12 years ago
Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense

Rules like this may sound good, but there's always cases that make you wish there was some room in the rule for unforeseen circumstances.

And of course the downfall of all the gun/weapon control rules is that if you are going to school with the intention of hurting someone, then you are already prepared to break much stronger rules than the school policy so that rule is not going to be a deterrent to the ones that you really want to deter.

And Josh, the reason you can't wear sweats to high school (although I don't think this was the rule when I was there) is most likely because at some point some randy little boys started pulling down girls sweats. The girls, and their parents are not happy about this, maybe even threaten to sue, and *tada*...nobody wears sweats to school anymore.

Also, they make you look like some kind of slob that's too lazy to take off your pajamas.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1432) 12 years ago
MacGyver could find 3,256 potential weapons in a Pre-K classroom.

The only safe school is an empty school.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 12 years ago
Dan Mowry for Safe Schools Czar!

You're probably too conservative for Bridgier though.
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Posted by polar bear (+516) 12 years ago
A sharp pencil can be a lethal weapon. Let's expel all kids who bring one to school.

This kid had no mental health history, had made no threats, had an item not normally considered to be a weapon as it's first purpose, and had no behavior history that would make him a threat. Oh, yeah, 6 years old. The zero tolerance rule should not rule out the brains of the adults involved.
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Posted by Chris Gamrath (+380) 12 years ago
Well that's the end of it.... no scissors at school either. Now were bringing up a generation of kids that will never be able to cut on the dotted lines. It was hard enough trying to stay inside the lines coloring with the big dull tipped crayons. Soon glue and tape will be considered dangerous weapons too!!!

This country is FREAKIN RIDICULOUS anymore! (BOTH side of it mind you!)
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
Fine. Teach the kid to pick and choose which rules he should follow.

That'll do well for him in life.

I guess if you're bound and determined to be outraged at something, you're going to find a way to be pissed.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 12 years ago
Don't let your kids take a pillow to school - word is they are now considered bioweapons among some in law enforcement.

http://www.orlandosentine...9508.story
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1432) 12 years ago
Rick, although I stated the 100% true made up statistic that:

"MacGyver could find 3,256 potential weapons in a Pre-K classroom."


I omitted another study where Phoenix University determined that teenage boys are able to find 3,257 potential weapons in a Pre-K classroom.

3,258 if you allow them to use one of the Pre-K kids themselves.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6172) 12 years ago
Frankly, we seem to be losing our ability to use our common sense when it comes to these things. Zero tolerance rules may have their place but it seems to me that over-reliance on them blunts our ability to learn what is rational and reasonable. Shouldn't our children be developing a sense of fairness? I've always thought that zero tolerance rules were too arbitrary.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
The 45 day sentence to reform school was a nice little twist added by the New York Times. Fox News reported what Ian Urbina wrote.

Actually not. The New York Times reported that, according to school policy, he could go to the "district's reform (read "alternative") school." That would be part of the education system. Faux News reported he would become part of the justice system and be "sent" to "reform school." (It's Faux News week at the Miles Community College Centra so I was forced to watch.)

You might actually need higher reasoning powers to be able to make out the difference, Jim, so you probably should just give up.

[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (10/12/2009)]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 12 years ago
Fine. Teach the kid to pick and choose which rules he should follow.

That'll do well for him in life.


How about teaching him that bringing silverware to school is equivalent to bringing in a dangerous weapon with the intention of hurting someone? Or at least that the adults around him are too stupid to differentiate between the two?



Sure this thing could be dangerous. He probably shouldn't bring it to school. He should have it taken away, maybe even get some detention but in this case the punishment obviously doesn't fit the crime. Especially since he's a 6 year old and didn't even know he was breaking the rules.

These zero tolerance laws tie administrators hands and result in ridiculous punishments such as this one while doing absolutely nothing to prevent something like Columbine. They are put in place because of fear and administrators who want to appear to be doing something really big about an issue they really have no control over. As I said before, Zero Common Sense.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
"How come Andrew gets to get up? I he gets up, we'll all get up! It'll be anarchy!" (From "The Breakfast Club")

So where exactly does anarchy end and common sense begin and then zero tolerance start?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
I'll agree that it's a bad rule. No one is really saying "zero tolerance" is a good thing. So let's move on from that. We are in agreement.

But the fact remains that the zero-tolerance policy is the rule that's currently on the books. If this is the example that compells them to change the rule, that's terrific. I'm all for it. Future violators of the altered rule can be punished accordingly and everyone involved - from the parties involved to the peanut gallery - will be better off for it.

But again, that doesn't change the fact that he broke the rule as it presently exists. The bottom line is that his parents should have been more attentive. If this is the punishment that he must endure because he broke the rule, so be it.

Rules either mean something or they don't. Either this kid, his parents, and the school itself hold themselves accountible to the rule, or they don't. If they do, all of their rules have authority. If they don't, none of their rules have any weight to them.

The rule sucks (or as Richard would say, "it's going to be a very long school year"). Change the rule ... but the punishment under the current rule needs to stick.

Why do I have the most conservative voice in this discussion?

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (10/13/2009)]
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
You don't. I agree.

There has to be a point where rules are rules or they all become arbitrary. What's being asked in this discussion is that schools produce a student handbook along with code of conduct and the consequences of rules vioations along with a disclaimer that says: "All rules and consequences of their violation are subject to change dependent on common sense, the situation, mood of the teacher or aministrator, connections of the violators, or other circumstances that school staff deem pertinent at that moment in time."
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
Derf and I agree. This thread can now end.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+432) 12 years ago
Actually not. The New York Times reported that, according to school policy, he could go to the "district's reform (read "alternative") school." That would be part of the education system. Faux News reported he would become part of the justice system and be "sent" to "reform school." (It's Faux News week at the Miles Community College Centra so I was forced to watch.)

You might actually need higher reasoning powers to be able to make out the difference, Jim, so you probably should just give up.


Do you mean, by needing "higher reasoning powers" "Reverend" that I should have as big of an imagination as you do, for hearing what's not actually being said?

I read the NY Times article in which Ian Urbina used the term "district's reform school".

I watched Jon Scott's report on Fox News. Mr. Scott used the term "reform school" as referenced in the Times report. When he interviewed the kid's father on the phone, Mr. Scott asked the father if now the kid had to spend 45 days in "reform school" and the father explained that punishment was an actually an "alternative placement".

Scott's report on Fox News was absolutely clear to me that the punishment was the district's "ALTERNATIVE" SCHOOL. There was no implication or reference to the justice system in the report.

I don't know what you were "forced to watch", but if it was Mr. Scott's report, (or any report that contained the phone conversation with the kid's father) your statement "Faux News reported he would become part of the justice system and be "sent" to "reform school." is an outright lie.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
I ... am so very torn right now.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 12 years ago
The parents need to pull the kid out of this retarded school system and home school him or find another place for him. To think of a 6 years old having to be separation from his family, or class mates on a lessor scale, for such a childish act is repulsive to me.

He needs to know he broke the rules and leave it at that, anything more is strickly for show.

The "that's the rule argument" is complete BS, it certainly was not the intentions of the rule. You can not allow for all contingencies until they occur then you need to let common sense rule the day. So "Boo-ya, beeyotch!"
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
"Retarded?"

Mature, Chuck.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 12 years ago
Now that is funny coming from you.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 12 years ago
I hope and pray that someday Brian will come to understand the concept of grace.
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 12 years ago
I hope and pray that someday Richard will understand the meaning of condescending....

also patronizing, disdainful, superior, haughty, pompous, arrogant, lofty, supercilious, snooty, snobbish, ...

[This message has been edited by howdy (10/13/2009)]
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
Do you mean, by needing "higher reasoning powers"


I actually mean the capacity for abstract thought.

Someone who posts using a pseudonym (a fictitious name intended to conceal one's true identity) probably shouldn't comment on concepts they don't have the capacity to understand, like "true" or "lie."
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+593) 12 years ago
Zero-Tolerance means zero thought process and zero accountability required by the authority enforcing the rule.

Shame on all of us for being placated by such rules
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 12 years ago
Yay! Bruce, you are absolutely right!
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 12 years ago
Well said Bruce.

And no, I don't think a 6 year old should have to pay the price for an administrator installing a ridiculous rule. Putting an innocent kid through that just be cause "rules are rules" is even more mindless than making the rule in the first place.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6115) 12 years ago
I hope and pray that someday Brian will come to understand the concept of grace.


If you mean "grace" in the biblical (unmerited divine assistance) sense ... ha! Do something constructive instead.

If you mean "grace" as in "disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy or clemency," I'll consider it.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
I think Richard is actually referring to a conversation from several weeks ago when we WERE disagreeing.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 12 years ago
Common sense prevails, Thanks god Brian was not in charge.

http://www.nbcphiladelphi...chool.html
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Posted by David Schott (+17521) 12 years ago
Unbelievable. You bend the rules once and the next thing you know the whole damn school is bringing their spork to class...

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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 12 years ago
I think you missed the point of what Brian was saying and I was agreeing with. The rule was amended retroactively. Until the rule was amended the administrators/teachers had no choice but to enforce it as it was written. It said: "zero tolerance" with attached consequences. It still says "zero tolerance" with a different set of consequences.

It's interesting that it was the public (non-professionals) who approved the policy but when it's actually enforced, the public howls at the unthoughtfulness of the teachers and administrators who are simply doing what they've been asked to do.

I'm not sure what the fuss is about anyway. The parents had already decided to home school they kid to skirt the consequences.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+432) 12 years ago
I actually mean the capacity for abstract thought.

I see your capacity for abstract thought has somewhat exceeded the limits of reality. Oh, the burdens of a self proclaimed superior intellect.

You got caught in a lie Derf; plain and simple.

Quit stroking.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 12 years ago
The fuss is you would have a 6 year old jerked from his home and thrown in kiddy jail for 45 days to up hold the letter of the law. That makes you an idiot and your leader is Brian. I can't imagine a system that would allow that to happen, but here I am living in one. His mother was home schooling him not to skirt the consequences but because it was the only responsible thing to do. The school board is to be commended on making the RIGHT decision.


On a personal note that was one sweet tool I would have taken it to school with me at age 6, the only difference is I could have hung it from my belt to compare with other like tools at recess.

Now a spork is another thing entirely, very dangerous.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3752) 12 years ago
Common sense prevails


So much for "Common Sense" Chuck.

Rough Road Ahead for New York Eagle Scout as School District Won't Budge on Pocketknife Suspension
http://www.foxnews.com/st...82,00.html

So now this kids ability to get into the most prestigious Military Academy in the world is in jeopardy because the school board thinks this kid is a threat.

Common sense loses out again.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 12 years ago
Eagle Scouts are __________
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 12 years ago
Kyle as we all know the trouble with common sense is it's just not that common.

This is another case of just open your f-cking eyes and look at the evidence, but a zero tolerance policy eliminates the need for common sense. It makes it easier for the school board to make rulings when they are not bothered by little things like the intent or circumstances.


Bob L, I think our new safe school czar was an eagle scout.

[This message has been edited by Chuck Schott (10/14/2009)]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 12 years ago
Zero tolerance policies are quite similar to mandatory sentencing/"three strikes and you're out."


Can I get anyone to agree on this statement?
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 12 years ago
I agree with that statement Bob L...
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3752) 12 years ago
Except that those who get hit with zero-tolerance in schools are significantly less dangerous than those who get hit with three-strikes.
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 12 years ago
Not always Kyle...I have read accounts that were horrifying about people that were sent to jail for life for really stupid stuff...Not dangerous at all in some instances...I really don't know if these stories are true, but if they are, someone needs to amend the law...

http://facts1.live.radica...pe&type=20
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 12 years ago
As much as I hate to agree with Bob L. it's exactly the same thing. A mindless law that leaves no room for taking the actual situation into consideration. As such it's bound to have some really stupid consequences given the right situation.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 12 years ago
You're on a roll though Levi - today you're agreeing with bob about zero-tolerance, yesterday you were agreeing with me about the patriot act - maybe tomorrow you can come out of the closet as a packers fan.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 12 years ago
Levi wrote:
As much as I hate to agree with Bob L.



Oh, you hurt my little feelings.


Well, not really.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3752) 12 years ago
You are correct Howdy and I should've clarified that. However I would argue that 3-Strike laws are needed more than both laws need to have certain deficiencies addressed and taken into account.

What's sad is that both laws are needed in this day and age.
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 12 years ago
Common sense is always a good idea...no matter the issue..
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 12 years ago
maybe tomorrow you can come out of the closet as a packers fan.

---------

Off topic story.

This happened in the late 80's. I was in LV with some buddies on a three day drinking/gambling binge.

I was in line at the Caesar's Palace book to bet the 10:00 games and lose some $$$.

As I proceeded to the front of the line, a South Asian man in his 30s turned around and asked, "The Packers, they are from Green Bay??"

I nodded.

Based on this information, he plunked down $11,000 to win $10,000 on the Packers (-7) over the Bears.

The Packers covered.
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Posted by Joshua Austill (+92) 12 years ago
I think we should lobby congress to pass a law that it's only legal for people with the first name "Brian" to breath on Mondays and Fridays, then we could see just how much Brian believes in his "rules are rules" mantra, on like the first Tuesday...

All joking aside, no, wait, that would be boring, never mind!
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