Monday, August 11, 2003

It's a tough time to be a kid

An interesting article about zero tolerance in South Florida.

The comment that the courtroom is becoming, in essence, a principal's office is well taken. I don't know about you, but I know the level of intimidation and respect MY principal's office held...when someone was "called to the principal's office," the snickers of contempt and outright "who cares" laughter was quite audible. I'm afraid Juvenile Court is headed the same direction with zero tolerance policies.

Also, I'm beginning to wonder who zero tolerance is REALLY supposed to protect. It seems to be a little like passing the buck to avoid responsibility, if you ask me. All those questions asked after Columbine...where were the teachers? why didn't the school know? Seems as though school officials are just trying to duck out of any liability when something goes wrong.

Lastly...I'm confused about the basic theory of zero tolerance. Would such a policy have stopped any of the school shootings we've seen in our history? If I recall the facts of Columbine, neither of those boys had ever previously taken a weapon to school. So, how would zero tolerance have helped? And how is it a logical extension of the resulting events?

No comments: