Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Zero Tolerance and the Dum (intentional misspelling)

If you haven't heard the news yet (and if not, you think your government school education was good), a 6-year-old was suspended and condemned to reform school (as opposed to the prison sentence of government school) for bringing a camping utensil (right) to school.  Yes, the camping utensil has a knife, in addition to the fork and spoon (and maybe a toothpick) and can opener.  I think I had an old one somewhere that was lost by the wayside.  But one thing I never really considered was that these things were weapons!!!!!!!

I'll let you in on a little secret:  I carried a "weapon" to school for years, and carry one to this day.  Not that I've ever really considered most of the dulled little things as such.  Hell, one time I got in a little trouble from a cop because he found my pocket knife after I told him I didn't have weapons, because it never occurred to me I had a weapon (and he never did find my money clip (also with knife blade)).  Also in high school, I wrote a nice little short story where the character went on a fucking school shooting spree, ending in the shotgun-exploded head (if I ever find that, I'm sharing it).  I eventually ended up in the guidance counselor's office for my death poetry specifically, but it was more of a chat than anything else.

What never happened was automatic suspensions, cops hauling me out of school, or a battery of shrinks pouring drugs down my throat (although eight years of Catholic school made that a distinct possibility).  Generally, I got in trouble (a lot), but they pretty much figured out that I would cause a lot of trouble, but not the kind that ended up with destruction, bleeding, and death.

FYI, I did all my schooling before Columbine, which was the turning point in any semblance of common sense.

 Under today's rules of course, I would have been handcuffed, suspended, and hauled bodily to some alternative class along with all the other delinquents.  This is the essence of the zero-tolerance policy, which I shall now define as lobotomy discipline [with my embedded commentary]:

Education experts [morons who maintain mediocrity] say that zero-tolerance policies initially allowed authorities more leeway in punishing students, but were applied in a discriminatory fashion [because everything in America is discriminatory]. Many studies indicate that African-Americans were several times more likely to be suspended or expelled than other students for the same offenses [why do I suspect the schools in which this happens already had lots of discipline issues?].

“The result of those studies is that more school districts have removed discretion [and frontal lobes] in applying the disciplinary policies to avoid criticism [and lawsuits] of being biased,” said Ronnie Casella, an associate professor of education at Central Connecticut State University who has written about school violence. He added that there is no evidence that zero-tolerance policies make schools safer [shocker].
It all ties back to a greater problem:  We've stopped being parents and expecting the best behavior out of our children.  And we accept these insane rules and regulations (and the accompanying diagnoses and drugs) that government schools institute so that they don't have to actually discipline and teach (badly).

One more thing:  As I'm currently only dealing with preschoolers, you'd think I don't have to deal with this yet because I wouldn't be giving them anything resembling a knife yet (even at home, I'm damn careful when it comes to blades).  Oh no, I've already had my brushes with the insanity.  With Halloween looming, the note has already come home that anything that even resembles a weapon (including obvious toys) is banned due to the lobotomy discipline policies.  Last year, I caught it late, and my son went from being a soldier (because his costume was thrown together from what was at hand) to being dead soldier (no gun).  The worst part is that he'd LOVE to go as a Jedi.  But that lightsaber is a W!E!A!P!O!N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Of course, my daughter is the one fascinated by weapons.  And dolls.  Now I just have to find "Death Assassin Barbie" and Christmas buying is set.

Boy, the schools are going to love me over the next decade and a half....


rockync said...

Over the years I have had several run ins over the stupidity of educators.
While I understand the desire to keep actual weapons out of our schools, I am at a loss for why educated people seem to have no common sense!
When contraband is found and there has been no attempt to use it, why not just keep it in the office and make the parent come get it?
Why does every school, large and small, need a "resource officer"? I'm sure there are schools that need some sort of enhanced authority and they should get it because, above all else, students and teachers should be safe.
But we are creating a generation of criminals with these knee jerk over reactions to just about everything.
They are kids for crying out loud!
And since when does a seminar on mental health qualify a teacher to determine that a child has ADD or the new syndrome du jour, autism? And why can the school then demand the child be put on medication without being first properly diagnosed?
This actually happened to a friend of mine who asked me to come to a school meeting with her. I did and demanded they pay for a qualified child pyschiatrist to make a diagnosis. I debated, I threatened and in the end, the kid got his sessions with a good practitioner. He needed therapy and medication due to extreme abuse he suffered as a small child - but not the Ritalin the school was demanding. If he had been put on meds by a GP it would have destroyed his intellect.
This kid is doing well and is in college now.
So, you go get 'em, Patrick. Give them a 12 year headache and hold their feet to the fire. Our kids are well worth the effort and anyone who doesn't put out that effort should not have had children.

TRUTH 101 said...

I know this will piss you off Patrick and I truly regret saying anything that causes you aggravation my friend. But as I keep pointing out. Everyone demands government do something about something at least three or more times a week. maybe even a day. Hell, an hour? A bunch of well meaning, albeit, deluded, panzy opinioned fools, demanded our children cease being childeren and be programmed little automatons that have everything measured and scheduled. Quality time is a bullshit phrase invented to make guilty parents feel better. Politically correct sissies have taken over our education system. Government needs to do something about this.

Patrick M said...

Rocky: Nothing to add....

101: Ah, the sarcasm.