Friday, February 18, 2005

Zero Tolerance, No Tolerance

What happened to the days of old when a student criminal violating the law would be expelled from school and answered to the courts? I know what happen, the Zero Tolerance policy. Just another step in the transition of the school raising children in place of parental responsibility. If a child does well the parent is praised. The same child struts around a two-thousand student campus displaying a handgun and the scream of "What is the school doing to halt this behavior" rings across the land. Things such as bringing a knife or gun into a school is suppose to result in a one year placement in an alternative school. Of course, rules and policies are open to interpretation. That is, interpretation by assistant principals, principals, elected school boards, school superintendents, the third estate, and of course the student and the parent(s).

"Yeah, I want to schedule an intake meeting for a returning student," the alternative school counselor said.
"Whose coming back?"
"He's only been away from this high school for three months."
"We sent a letter to the superintendent asking him to waive the other nine months. We're just waiting for him to sign."
"So the boy has experienced a behavior reversal and is ready to return to regular school?"
"He's done very well."
"Does he get his gun back?"
"I got to go. Let me know the day and time that's good for you."

So, Michael was ready to return after three months. I assumed that bringing a loaded 9mm to school just to be cool is still cool. Of course, being placed in a very quiet, small, high school in classes with perhaps ten students cured him of the dangerous behavior. More likely he was not controllable by the principal, like many others, and was pronounced "healed".

The Zero Tolerance policy does nothing more then disguise the state of public education in America. The person, parent or administrator, that screams the loudest gets their way. Teachers don't teach, they police or mingle. The mingle portion is the most frightening. Many pretend to be friends with all students in the hope that a brawl does not breakout in the overcrowded classroom and perhaps someone produces a knife or gun, kills one or more of the students or the teacher will be slain attempting to quiet the fight.

Give me your tired, your poor, the armed masses waiting to end your life. However, we can not leave no child behind. They may be armed and attack you from the back.