Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A bad, bad case of zero tolerance

Creating a safe education environment is sometimes a hard job. Over the last decade schools have pushed for zero tolerance of particular actions or objects. For example some schools have a zero tolerance for guns or drugs.

This can be taken to an extreme. In an effort to keep bad drugs off campus, some schools have pushed for a zero tolerance of drugs. The big problem is some drugs are good. For example a diabetic needs insulin. Sometimes schools try to address this problem by saying that students need to go to the school nurse to get the good drugs. If a student is blood sugar goes high, it is wrong to make them wait until the school nurse can see them.

The blog Zero Intelligence focuses on the idiotic cases of "Zero Tolerance." (I find it interesting that Jim Peacock who first ran Zero Intelligence is now homeschooling.)

Today we have a pretty extreme example of Zero Intelligence, assuming the news is correct. In Arizona a school suspended a 13-year-old boy for drawing a picture. The boy says it is a harmless doodle. The school says drawing is of a gun. Since they have Zero Tolerance for guns, the boy was suspended. One news article starts off with:

"An East Valley eighth-grader was suspended this week after he turned in homework with a sketch that school officials said resembled a gun and posed a threat to his classmates."

What in the world??? A picture of something that might be a gun is going to hurt someone? The school feels it is OK to suspend him? In looking at the picture from the side it looks like a building to me.

The boy says it is a picture of a laser. It was on the margins of a science assignment he was turning in. He was drawing because he had finished the assignment and had some time to kill.

Here is what happened: the school officials interpret the drawing and then punish the student.

There was no trial. There was no sanity. There was no intelligence.

This is one of the worse cases of Zero Intelligence I've heard of in a long while.

(Hat tip: OpinionJournal)

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education, zero, intelligence, tolerance

1 comment:

creditlucky said...

Why is there a trend in American society to bring anything to the extreme edge. Zero tolerance is as bad as total tolerance. People go mad because of those painful crimes and try to get overcautious. I think, an extreme crime is caused by permissiveness.