Monday, December 17, 2007

More proof that zero tolerance in schools is asinine...

According to this outrageous story, a fifth grade girl was arrested by police after school officials caught her using a steaknife to cut the piece of steak her parents packed for her lunch. The ten year old girl was arrested and suspended ten days and may possibly be charged with a felony weapons charge.

All this for cutting her steak with a steaknife. They treat real criminals better than this! In fact we have rapists and murderers running around on the streets raping and murdering innocent people every day. And the best we can do is arrest children for doing nothing wrong?

It's another case of zero tolerance gone way too far. Thanks to zero tolerance, school officials no longer have to do the jobs they're paid to do. They no longer are required to think or use good judgment. Zero tolerance paved the way to treating every child the same for every offense. And these folks are the ones who are teaching your children how to think and make solid judgment. The way it works now is they simply lump everyone together in the same category. All students are exactly alike, all offenses are punishable in the same manner, no exceptions, everything is the same for everybody.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? It's the group over the individual. Instead of weighing a situation on its individual merit and instead of making a decision based on a wide variety of factors, all situations are handled the same, regardless of the who, what, when, where, why or how. The problem is life just doesn't work that way. So ask yourself what message this sends to children?

The wrong message.

Children are getting the message that all people are alike, all circumstances are the same, there is black and white and no gray. The thing is that life is quite a bit of gray. Eventually once we much through the gray, we get to the black and white, which in my opinion is our own moral stance on things. The gray is not a bad thing--it's the area in which a person ponders "ok, what do I do now?"

What they've learned in life, what the adults in their life have taught them, will help them go down either one road or the other, hopefully the right road, but not always so. But still, pondering, questioning and seeking knowledge are good things.

Those of us in the majority who actually care want today's children to grow up understanding right from wrong. We want them to understand the concept of "let the punishment fit the crime". We want them to be able to use good judgment and use the brains God gave them to be able to weigh decisions carefully (in all areas of their lives) and make the best choices they can make in life. Sometimes they'll be wrong, sometimes they'll be right. But to get there we want them to think logically, rationally and carefully. The way it stands, we could wind up with a generation of children who will lack the ability to make rational choices and solid judgments. They won't know how to ponder, ask questions, and seek to understand. And sadly, they will not have the simple capability to understand the inherent differences between people and situations.

The school officials at Sunrise Elementary in Ocala, Florida are more than jackasses, they are assholes. And the teachers who seized the awful weapon and called deputies should NOT be teaching children! It sucks that Sunrise Elementary has created an environment where good children are punished for what one bad child might do. It stinks that they stood by and allowed a ten year old girl to be arrested when no crime was committed. Not only was no crime actually committed, no crime was even planned or in the works. There was no malicious intent on the part of this child and yet you had her arrested.

Can you imagine how frightened that little girl must have been? How she must be now? To a child, being arrested, being taken from your family, and wondering WHY because you have done nothing wrong has to be a terrible nightmare. To arrest a child and treat her like a common criminal when there has been NO crime, NO harm, NO intent to harm, and NO malice on her part whatsoever---is so despicable.

I can't believe that we have people working in the school system, teaching, guiding and counseling children, who are so damned stupid as to think that zero tolerance is the answer. Any adult who thinks a ten year old child should be arrested for doing nothing wrong is an IDIOT!!! And that person should NOT be in the school system where they can do irreparable harm to children!

These morons need to overturn zero tolerance and go back to using their heads and their good judgment, or what's left of it.

Let the punishment fit the crime. In this case, no crime, no punishment.

And this definitely needs to serve as a wakeup call not just to parents of kids in public schools but to all of us to fight back with everything we've got and then some.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/18/2007

    Can I just confess here? I love the word asinine. It is such an appropriate and expressive word. But does this mean I love to curse? Could you get your Uncle's opinion on that for me? -- ST