[WAG]It likely isn’t only “drug abuse policy” zero-tolerance. I suspect it has much to do with liability - for example, kid feels feverish, borrows an aspirin, and keels over (think Reyes’ syndrome). As parents, especially those who don’t watch their kids’ health too well, file suits against the school district, the school’s only defense is to ensure all goes via the school nurse. Illegal-drug policy merely feeds off/amplifies the ultimate silly result.[/WAG]
Our local school district has a zero tolerance fighting policy. Then, after colombine, they establiched a policy of calling the cops for all fights and having the kids taken to juvinile (sp) hall. (kid jail)
A local kid was being picked on by a well known bully and trouble maker. When they go into a fight they were sent to kiddie jail. At the kiddie jail the smaller innocent kid, who was only trying to defend himself, was raped and sodomized.
Watching all the school board members on tv saying, “hey its not my fault. We were just following our zero tolerance policy” made me sick.
And yet, you can guarantee all of these losers will be re-elected back in with no trouble at all. This makes me sick to read about this.
Thank God I graduated High School a few months ago before it got any worse.
I arrived late for school one day–visited the office, and asked if I could use the secretary’s phone to call somebody who could excuse me for the tardiness.
The answer, as I was expecting–was a cold, resounding “No.”, along with an order to report to detention hall.
Instead–I went to another secretary and asked her.
“I’ve seen other students use that phone before!”
“That’s only if they’re going to after-school detention and need to inform somebody.”
I left after I checked with the other secretaries–and was declined–I came back.
“I need to use the phone. I have an after school detention.”
“What did you do?”
I made up a lie.
“I killed a bunch of people and ate them.” I replied with a wide grin and a polite laugh at my little joke. The secretary was not amused.
“You probably need more than an after school detention.”
She let me use the phone. I called my father and he in turn, called the attendance office to excuse my tardiness. I was in a hurry. I had to be in the laboratory for Biology class. (I don’t like to miss lab work!)
I waited in the attendance office line to get my pass. Before I got to the front of the line–two security goons got me from behind!
Our school has a lot of security goons. Including one uniformed, armed police officer. Heaven knows why. We’re one of the best schools in the state. But they still have the place set up like a prison camp. Closed for lunch–a perimeter-wide fence that seems to keep people from getting in or out. Even the parking lot exits are chained up during school hours.
I was taken to a security office–had my jacket taken off–my clothes frisked–my backback and wallet checked–and I was given a field sobriety test. Before all this testing began–I took my report card out of my wallet to show them my straight-A transcript and perfect discipline record. It did not deter them in the least.
They were going to drug-test me, too. But after they discussed it, I started yelling a lot about the laboratory work I was missing, and they let me go. Before I left–I asked them why they brought me in.
“A secretary in the office called and said you looked suspicious.”
Is this what the future of “Zero-tolerance” is going to entail? Detaining people on assumptions? On compulsive whims?
I bitched about this to a lot of the administrators—I never did get an apology out of them. And I was never told who turned me over to security, either–although I’ve already got a pretty good feeling of who it was…
I realize this post was kind of long. I just wanted to make a point about the absurdity that our school system is degenerating into.
You want your children to have a good education? Move somewhere else. You’re
Of course, there is this 9-year old kid who was suspended from school for giving a friend a breath mint.
Oh, and do you know what schools have done to make things more secure?
Make people wear ID cards. Yep, that makes me feel safer… I know that I felt reassured in high school when all the teachers/adults in the building had to wear an ID… it made me feel even better when I was told that eventually all of the kids were going to have to wear them, too.
I can see it now… “Why, mr. board member, do you think that John XYZ shot and killed other students?” “I don’t know- he was wearing a nametag!”
Idiots. And I don’t know if they’re going to put them in to the middle schools, but can you imagine what would happen if a little kid forgot to take theirs off? No point in telling kids to not tell strangers their name if the perv can read it off of their clothing.
Oh, and there was talk of making everyone have see through bookbags. Another stroke of brilliance.
I’m going to stop before I get angrier.
At some point it was decided that protecting authority was more important than how that authority is used. We see this in zero tolerance nonsense in schools, with the IOC and the gymnasts and the mindless three strikes laws. A child learns no useful lessons from being punished for the terrible crime of bringing a GI Joe gun to school or sharing breath mints. Putting a criminal away for life for stealing a slice of pizza because it was his 3rd felony benefits no one. This is way beyond ass covering. Some try to pass it off as fairness when it is anything but fair. Why do we see more and more of these stupid rules being adopted and applied even where they serve no sane purpose?
Putting a criminal away for life for stealing a slice of pizza because it was his 3rd felony benefits no one
Where on the entire earth does stealing a slice of pizza equal felony?
Well, if you want to talk about sero tolerance, this AP story tells of a local girl(sixth grader) suspended under the zero tolerance policy for weapons for bringing a tweety key chain to school(yes, it did have a short chain that attached her keys and wallet together).
My mother is a school secretary, and with no school nurse(as far as I know) she is responsible for holding all prescription medications. No other medications are allowed in the school. It is a liability issue more than one of drugs at this point. We live in a sue-happy society. All it would take would be 1 serious reaction to cost the school district a lot of money.
Is it extreme to be this strict? Probably. And each case that comes up must be evaluated carefully-is the 11 year old with a key chain as serious as a 13 year old with a switchblade knife? Not at all, at least IMHO.
I was wondering the same thing EvilGhandi. I suppose it was a very expensive slice of pizza.
I found this quote at: http://www.rackjite.com/8law.htm
I heard this story from several independant sources at the time.
You gave a great example of the silliness of the law, lee. And everything lee said is true, he was in fact sentenced for a felony for stealing the pizza, and received 25 years. This also appeared on ABC News 20-20.
Fortunately for Mr. Williams, this link claims he later received a 20-year reduction in his sentence. So he’ll be out having a large-pan Super-Supreme again in short order.
I’ve been called on the carpet a few times for having “zero-tolerance” when it comes, for example, to infringing on a person’s right to privacy. (Checking your receipt as you exit a store… after a store employee has presumably checked your purchases while you were checking out, comes to mind.) I vaguely remember other threads on the topic. It seems that a large number of posters believe, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you don’t have anything to worry about!”
Busting a kid at school for having cough drops is, I believe, and as other people have mentioned, a liability concern. The schools don’t want to be sued if someone chokes on one. But zero tolerance can also be seen as “conditioning”. Getting people to accept intrusions on their privacy, or inconveniencing them “for the good of the collective”, at an early age.
Another thread asked, “What happened to personal responsibility?” I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, but in small increments it’s being conditioned out of us.
Personal anecdote: I used to wear a Buck-brand folding knife when I was a teen. I’d use it to open oil cans, boxes, etc. Never thought of using it as any kind of weapon. It was just a tool that I frequently used. One day I was going to drive from Lancaster, CA (about 100km north of L.A.) to southern Oregon to take a couch up to my grandparents’ house. (Even at a young age, my dad trusted me to make an 800 mile trip solo.) I was leaving from school. One of the “bouncers” stopped me at mid-day and said, “What’s that on your belt?” I’d completely forgotten that I’d put the knife on! I never wore it to school before. As I was going on a trip, and it was a tool I might need, I put it on as a matter of course. I didn’t even realize I had it on until the bouncer brought it to my attention. I told him that I was going on a road trip after school, and he let me take it to the parking lot (unsupervised) and put in the pickup. If that had happened now, they’d strap me to a table to a table and start the lethal drip!
At my (otherwise sane) high school we weren’t allowed to carry bookbags around the school at all-- “And I’m sure you all know the reason for that” (yes, that’s what they told us). To my knowledge, no student in the history of Benedictine High School has ever brought a firearm to school-- the idea is ludicrous enough that I didn’t, in fact, know the reason for it, without asking.
Don’t even get me started on pocketknives. A well-sharpened pencil would make a more effective weapon than my Swiss Army Knife… Are they going to prohibit pencils, too?
I am sorry lee. I wasn’t trying to call you a liar. I have never heard of stealing a piece of pizza being a felony.
It is a crazy world we live in.
My school has a zero-tolerance policy on weapons and drugs, and also electronic devices like CD players, cell phones, and pagers.
It just so happens that I am one of the only reasonably healthy persons in my group of friends. One friend has severe asthma, two are diabetic, one has a bleeding disease (her blood doesn’t clot right). I don’t have asthma, but I need to use an albuterol (asthma-med) inhaler when I’ve been running around like mad in the cold (gym in the fall and winter). The cold makes the alveoli in my lungs freeze or something, which isn’t really asthma but the albuterol works the same on me as it does for my asthmatic friend.
For one diabetic and the bleeder, the only drugs they need are test kits and a once-a-day pill that they keep in the nurses’ office. My other friend has severe type 1 diabetes and uses an insulin pump, a device about the size of a pager that is connected to a vein in her side thru a little rubber tube and constantly monitors and corrects the insulin flow in her blood. When she first got it about a year and a half ago, she got fifteen referrals because it is an electronic device. Even after she explained to the teachers what it was and that she would probably go into a coma if she took it out (not to mention bleeding from the hole in her side where the cord went in; what the fuck kind of pager has a cord that connects to your abdomen???), they insisted on giving her referrals. Her parents and doctor had to fight for a month to get them all repealed.
My asthmatic friend and I need to carry inhalers in gym class in case either one of us has trouble breathing. However, students aren’t allowed to carry drugs. Asthmatics and I (due to a carefully-worded note from my understanding doctor) are allowed to carry our inhalers, but that’s it – and gym clothes aren’t allowed to have pockets, so we can’t carry them in gym. Instead we have to hand them to the gym teacher, who will usually understand and carry them for us. However once we had a substitute who didn’t get it and refused to carry the inhalers due to the zero tolerance rule, and sure enough my friend had an asthma attack while we were running track. I was starting to get one of my non-asthma thingies, but I was ok and wouldn’t need my inhaler, but I was really really flipping out because of her. She’s ahd her lungs collapse before. My only truly healthy friend ran – and I mean RAN – into the school, grabbed my backpack, ran out to us, we gave her my inhaler, she used it, she was OK, but I got in trouble for sharing drugs and my friend got in trouble for running into the school and taking someone else’s property. We all got demerits.
I once got trouble for “threats.” We’d had an assembly on the zero-tolerance weapons policy and I raised my hand and said “You know, I could stab somebody in the eye with a pencil if I wanted to. There’s no way you could possibly rule out any possibility of weaponry, if people are really determined to be violent. You’d have to amputate all our arms and legs and cut off our jaws, so we couldn’t punch, kick, or btie anybody, not to mention not letting us use any sort of book, tool, writing implement, or so on.” Because of that first sentence I got three demerits and two days of in-school suspension.
Jesus. Have things really gotten this bad?! I graduated from HS in 1994. In my time there I say one friend carry a switchblade for fun, many other friends keep bottles of Advil or Aspirin in their lockers, and once I actually gave some of my prescription painkillers to a fellow jock before the big game because he had a broken leg. I guess ALL those people would qualify for suspension now. For Chrissakes!
I think educators just need to pay more attention to what’s going on, and everything will be okay. For instance, a previous poster mentioned a little kid who was getting picked on. When he finally fought back, he was sent to juvi hall, where he was raped and sodomized. Well, why in the HELL didn’t a teacher step in and put an end to the bullying?!?! I experienced this sort of crap firsthand. Sometimes I felt like I was being blamed because it was ME who was being picked on and causing a problem my teachers didn’t want to deal with!
I think if teachers just KNEW their students more, and were actually allowed to exercise reasonable authority without being harassed by pea-brained parents (a minority, but a loud one) then 99% of the so-called “problems” with schools would evaporate into thin air.
Just take a second to remember what political party is supported actively by the majority of these teachers coming up with and implementing these ridiculous “no tolerance” policies. And what political party receives the vast majority of the funds of the teacher’s Unions.
Then be afraid.
Anthracite: Not being a parent, I haven’t paid attention to which political party that is. If it’s the Republicans, don’t worry. Bush doesn’t stand a chance in hell of winning.
When I went to high school, I carried a Swiss army knife on my keychain, and I routinely took Tylenol and Motrin without checking with the school nurse (and at this time Motrin was only available with a prescription – my mom gave me free sample bottles). During the four years I was in school, we had one instance of serious violence (other than simple fistfights) that I can recall.
A few years after I left this school, a new principal came in and laid down all sorts of restrictive policies. A year or two after that, someone burned down one of the gyms.
What does this suggest?
While some of it is, as has been suggested, a liability issue, I think a lot more of it is that principals and school board people have this belief that it is necessary to show children who is boss. Rules are rules, and you will follow them, no matter how stupid you might think they are, because WE are SMARTER than YOU are, and WE know that these rules are in YOUR best interest even if you don’t. So be a good little kiddie and eat your peas.