Friday, June 04, 2004

Zero tolerance makes zero sense

Neal Boortz explains to us why zero tolerance laws are a bad idea. Some examples:

Wisconsin: A sixth-grader gets suspended because of a science project. The project involved cutting an onion. He brought a kitchen knife to school. Bad sixth-grader.

Georgia: Ashley is in the sixth grade. She loves Tweety Bird. She has her wallet on a Tweety Bird keychain. The government employees running her particular government school decide that her keychain is a weapon. She could strangle someone with it. (I guess … if they had a neck the size of a pencil.) Ashley … suspended. Thankfully her father sees the light and sends her to a private school.

Texas: This zero-tolerance idiocy comes from Ft. Worth. Cory Henson plays baseball on the Diamond Hill-Jarvis baseball team. In the trunk of his car is his baseball equipment, including aluminum bats. In the front seat of his car we have a souvenir baseball bat. It is made of wood and 8” long. That’s not as long as a piece of copy paper is wide. Ft. Worth government school officials decide that the 8” bat is a weapon! The real aluminum baseball bats aren’t. I wonder if these school officials know that virtually every car in the student parking lot has a weapon in the trunk. It’s called a lug wrench. Now If you want to clobber someone, which would you choose? The 8” wooden bat or the two-pound steel lug wrench?

Missouri: October of 2001. It is just a month after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. A fifth-grade student draws a picture of an airplane flying into a building. Suspended.

A third-grader has a brother serving in the Army in Afghanistan. The proud third-grader draws a picture of his brother. The drawing shows his brother with a gun. Suspended.