The story: Sixth grader Adrionna Harris took a razor blade away from a classmate who was cutting himself. After convincing him that self-harm was wrong, she threw the razor blade away.
The next day (last Friday), convinced that she had done the right thing, she told school officials about the incident. The result? Based on her own report (and nothing else), she received a ten day suspension and was recommended for expulsion because she violated the school’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons.
It took the intervention of a local TV station to get her suspension hearing moved up and it looks likely that she will be allowed back into school tomorrow or Monday.
I’m left to wonder what the hell is wrong with these school administrators. Is there something about the word “zero tolerance” that causes them to lose all common sense? Do they lack the ability at all to tell the difference between a good deed and a bad deed? Do they even care that they are sending a message to kids of “don’t get involved, don’t do the right thing.”
Consider the following scenario: a man with a gun bursts into a high school and starts shooting indiscriminately. A student hits the guy on the head, causing him to drop his gun. The kid then picks up the gun and holds the guy at bay until the cops arrive. What would these school administrators do? They’d suspend and expel the kid, claiming zero-tolerance!
Granted, this kid didn’t hold off a shooter, but she did prevent further harm from coming to a fellow classmate. And, for that, she’s being punished.
Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps I’m the wacky one in thinking that school administrators and officials should be able to exercise judgement regarding the goings-on in their schools.