It couldn’t have happened soon enough for me. After some years of enforcing “no (guns/drugs/etc.) tolerance” policies to ridiculously literal extremes, some US schools are starting to experience a backlash. And let me tell you, I hope whomever is swinging the whip is lashing them hard.
Until now, if you were a renaissance faire enthusiast and wanted to be pictured as a sword-wielding knight in your yearbook, or you brought a water gun or your own prescription drugs to school, or you brought plastic army men to graduation, you were facing some hard time, buddy. But a few schools are wisely reexamining these blanket policies.
What I want to know is, why did we never hear from the NRA on these outrageous policies from the start? Remember, they support unfettered access to guns. These young Americans have rights. Many states have no minimum age for gun ownership, even though out of great concern for the kiddies they do keep cigarettes and lottery tickets (which can cause nasty paper cuts) out of their hands until they’re at least 18.
Seriously, I imagine some of these schools would look upon farting in class as being akin to exploding a biological weapon, and punish it accordingly. So, no more franks and beans in the lunchroom menu; that’s just coddling the terrorists. No more ISS (in-school suspension) either. Call the DHS on their foul asses!
Why do I write about this? Because I have zero tolerance for unreasonable zero tolerance rules. It’s this same type of thinking (i.e. not thinking) that puts people in jail for having car keys in their hands when they’re drunk. (What is that, anyway, conspiracy to drive drunk?) (PS: No, I've never been arrested for anything.)
It’s this total lack of reason in making the rules (often formed in an emotional environment after a tragedy), and adherence to them (by design, zero tolerance ties the hand of the person enforcing it) to the exclusion of all common sense that I find unacceptable. All intelligent people should.
It’s also this kind of crap that went a long way toward making me into the iconoclast I am today. It illustrated to me that those in authority (from the local middle school all the way up to the White House) don’t always have a clue about what they’re doing, and hence are not to automatically be trusted or respected. Smart, sensible rules, non-preferential enforcement and reasonable punishments are the only remedy for that, from my point of view.
So schools rethinking these policies is a good idea. I would say the same for our society in general. I mean, does anyone really want more Pete Bogses (sic) running around out there?