Author Topic: Zero Tolerance policies.  (Read 3326 times)

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Offline Draconium

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Zero Tolerance policies.
« on: October 13, 2009, 12:36:19 am »
This was inspired by this thread: Cub Scout Suspended for Eating Utensil

What is your stand on so-called "Zero Tolerance" policies?
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 01:04:49 am »
The problem with zero tolerance policies is that they treat all violations as equally bad. This has the result that minor infractions are punished proportionally more severely than major infractions, but that's not the real problem (even though it is the most publicised). The real problem is the a major infraction is treated the same way as a minor infraction. Suppose a kid brings a shotgun and ammo to school and is treated exactly the same way as if he brought a butterknife - that would be a much more seriously failure.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 10:10:57 am »
As stated above. Zero-Tolerance policies inspire some of the most ridiculous and senseless stupidity policy-wise: do something small and harmless, and it gets blown all out of proportion... do something major, and get off easy.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 12:40:03 pm »
Fox News had a 17 year old Eagle Scout who had already been through Army basic training on the show this morning for something similar. I didn't catch why the school staff started questioning him, but they were asking if he had any weapons or knifes on him, and then if he had any in his car. He did have a small knife that he said had a blade short enough that under N.Y. law it is not classified as a weapon. According to him and a response from the school, they only say you can't bring weapons to school but no definition of what a weapon is. So he's trying to over turn his 15 day suspension (fearing it will keep him from being accepted to West Point) because of the N.Y. definition relating to his knife and weapons, and because even the school board members that reviewed and gave the extra suspension agreed there was no intent to use it.

I'm gonna predict that these types of cases will be "the next big thing" that makes it's way around the news cycle for the next few months and we'll see more public outcry against these rules that don't account for common sense. It seems like there's always a rotating theme in headline makers. I thing one person summed it up well in the email feedback about the Eagle Scout: [paraphrasing] Since they don't define a weapon in the school, then the entire girls softball team should be expelled because they are walking around with clubs.
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Offline Sskessa

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 12:59:19 pm »
It seems to me that these policies could only punish good students trying to follow the rules. That is to say, a student bringing a weapon to school with the intent to harm will likely hide it well until he uses it. Once he uses it, you have perfectly good "no assault" charges you can bring down on him.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 06:43:18 pm »
It seems to me that these policies could only punish good students trying to follow the rules. That is to say, a student bringing a weapon to school with the intent to harm will likely hide it well until he uses it. Once he uses it, you have perfectly good "no assault" charges you can bring down on him.
Yeah; and someone abliding by the rules wouldn't bother to conceal it, afterall, they think they are in the good.
So it effectively does the wrong thing... It's like turning speed limits from maximum limits into minimum limits to address high traffic volumes! Totally absurd!
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 07:03:28 pm »
I think I can sum up this story and pretty much all other children/school stories in one word: Overprotectiveness.  :P Seems to me that ever since Columbine (or some other tragedy, etc.), schools and parents and our own Fed. gov't are doing whatever they can to overprotect our kids to the max. It's not just about weapons, but there's also stories of parents, church groups, etc. protecting kids from physical education classes (gym) saying that certain activities will get their kids hurt.
At the rate this country is going, maybe we'll start seeing kids going to school in bubble wrap clothing, bullet proof vests, sports padding, etc.  :D
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Offline Avan

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 07:17:48 pm »
@ what kobuk said - Well, at the rate the world is going, something HAS to change, since it's mathematically impossible to continue to exist: its an inherently unstable system (just as if for example the acceleration of the universe was constant: it wouldn't work because gravity would become diluted, and acceleration would HAVE to increase, and thus it would not be physically possible to continue constant acceleration)

Thus my opinion is that its going to hit a critical point when something just blows...  :o (thus resulting in a media field-day and some large changes)
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Offline Draconium

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 12:13:02 am »
At the rate this country is going, maybe we'll start seeing kids going to school in bubble wrap clothing, bullet proof vests, sports padding, etc.  :D

British school children are already wearing stab proof armor (and uniforms): LinkLink 2

There are also armored backpacks that can be used like a shield for sale in America.

Seriously, when students are coming to school looking like SWAT team officers, there is a MASSIVE problem.

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But I feel that zero tolerance is unfair. You cannot apply the same penalty to someone who brings a pointed nail file to school and to someone who brings in a shotgun. It is illogical.

Not to mention the definition of weapon is idiotic, ANYTHING can be a weapon. In my old high school (in a safe neighborhood) I saw someone who got stabbed with a mechanical pencil (no significant injury).
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Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 01:18:47 pm »
Zero tolerance laws are the height of stupidity. 

Criminals, and those with evil intent, do not obey laws or play by the rules.  Zero tolerance doesnt stop them from carying weapons to harm others with, it only makes it easier to punish them if caught before they hurt somone.

Those same laws and rules make it harder for somone to have a simple utility knife, eating utensil, or any other useful tool that can be used as a weapon by evil people.  In the adult world, these rules make it difficult for law abiding citizens to defend themselves from attack or rape.  I guess the criminals and rapists never got the memo that breaking laws makes them very naughty boys.

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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 10:43:04 pm »
All the zero tolerance stuff makes me think of how the government want to limit citizens rights to bear arms. I'm not saying kids should go to school armed with guns but they should at least be armed with information. Teach your kids about dangerous things, get them over their fear of guns and violence and have them take a few self defense classes so if they are put in a dangerous situation they can handle it and don't just buckle under the pressuer of their safety bubble bursting and reality falling upon them.

I think this is one of the main reasons there are people who wish for the apocalypse, it would force all those who lead over-sheltered lives to actually face some measure of real danger and have to fight for life instead of simply existing...
But I'm straying off topic here.

I guess my point would be that there should be no zero-tolorance policies, it's just a fools way of saying "We warned you, not my fault". And I understand where they're coming from because there are folk out there who, if they're child gets hurt at school, will blame the school and not the individual kid responsable. And after so much of that happening school systems are forced to put these policies in place to avoid being sued.

I think the country would just be a lot better if we stopped being so over protective off our children. My own folks were over-protective of me, sheilded me from the world and when I got out into it I was not prepared in the slightest. I wish my parents had been more strict with me, push me into situations outside my comfort zone more, let me get a scraped knee and tell me to 'suck it up' instead of babying me.

You don't have to be tough or mean on your kids, but don't keep the reality of life and the world and the human race a secret from them. prepare them to face the world as it is... And once again I see I strayed a little off topic. Sorry.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Zero Tolerance policies.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 11:23:16 pm »
"We warned you, not my fault"
Well, it's more this fear of liability than anything else, so yes, it is a 'we warned you, we're not liable' sort of situation. If a care instruction manual could run up to 1000 pages if they had to list every single contingency short of absolute absurdity, what would school rule books look like? O_o

Not saying that this isn't a problem, it sure is! It's just that this isn't THE problem, the stem of it all. There's probably multiple factors, but the ease with which people can court-troll (like patent/copyright-trolling, but here in any form of civil lawsuit) is simply ridiculous, and is certainly a major factor - all the greater when schools are strapped for cash in financial situations such as this one and they can't afford to get sued.

don't keep the reality of life and the world and the human race a secret from them.
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