Zero Tolerance Idiocy Of 2014

As any of you regular readers know zero-tolerance policies, particularly for schools, are one of my major pet peeves. As always they end up hurting the very children they're supposed to protect while still leaving many of the true miscreants untouched. Almost always these policies are not for the benefit of the kids but for the administrators, teachers, and school board members. It absolves them of ever having to make decisions of any kind other than which zero-tolerance policy (or policies) some poor kid has unwittingly run afoul.

By way of Reason's Hit & Run blog comes this list of the Ten Outrageous 'Zero Tolerance' Follies of 2014.

Here are a few that made the list:

A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch (a chicken burrito) with a hungry friend. For this, he got detention. Superintendent Tom Barnett explained, "Because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals.”

Really? A kid can't share his lunch with a hungry friend? But wait, it gets worse!

A letter home from the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, read, in part: "The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers."

So, if the kindergarten kids take part in a year-end show it will some how prevent them from getting into college? This is something I would call “Bullshit!” on. My take: they just didn't want to be bothered so they cancelled it and gave this lame excuse.

Da'von Shaw, a Bedford, Ohio, high school student, brought apples and craisins to school for a "healthy eating" presentation. When he took out a knife to slice an apple, his teacher told him he was not allowed to use it. He immediately handed it over to her. Case closed? Nope. Later that day he was suspended for a week because he brought a weapon to school.

Hmm. I have to wonder whether the school kitchen staff or the home ec teacher have also been suspended for using 'weapons'?

And last:

After the fire alarm went off in Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, everyone evacuated, including Kayona Hagen-Tietza, 14, who had been swimming in the gym pool and didn't have time to change. School policy forbids teachers from having students in the car, so she stood outside, barefoot, for 10 minutes in 5-degree weather until a teacher obtained "permission" to let her sit in her car just this once.

If the poor girl had suffered from hypothermia, frostbite, or other cold-related injuries I suppose the school administrators would have cited their rigid inflexible policies as necessary to 'protect' this child from the predations of one of the teachers?

Unfortunately none of this nonsense will end until someone is severely injured, or worse, is killed by one of these insanely stupid zero-tolerance policies. I would expect should this happen the administrators involved will use the “But it's policy!” excuse to explain it away.

Read The Whole Thing.