Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Let's Stop Tolerating "Zero Tolerance"

Ben Boychuk, over at Infinite Monkeysis on a roll posting on the ridiculous case of the eight-year-old forced into a psychiatric evaluation apparently (though the exact nature of the facts involved remains in dispute) because he drew a picture of the crucifixion and that disturbed school officials who considered the drawing to be "violent."   (See, too, the posts linked in the appendix section of these posts which detail a number of similar cases of outrage).  Like Ben, however, I think this case has very little to do with the supposed "War on Christmas" or even with the First Amendment protection of religious liberty.  What it really is--no matter which version of the facts ends up being correct--is a massive over-reaction by school teachers and administrators bent on adding yet another chapter to the long and savage saga of trying too hard to prevent the unpreventable.  Zero tolerance policies regarding school violence seem to have the effect either of turning otherwise decent school officials into babbling idiots devoid of common sense and judgment or, they empower the zealots on staff who savor the opportunity of acting the part of enforcer of leftist virtue.   But even this assessment misses the point.  The real problem with zero tolerance policies is in what they do to the kids--both the kids ensnared by their idiocy and the kids who, by observing these examples, must be learning that the adults around them and the rules governing them are not worthy of respect. 

And one other thing:  have you ever noticed that the most vociferous endorsers of "zero tolerance" when it comes to things perceived as "violent" are often the first to defend (or, at least, look the other way) when students speak to adults and peers with cheek and disrespect, when they engage in sexually explicit talk or activities, and when they otherwise act like the little jerks that the nuns of old would have rapped on the knuckles with a ruler.  Of course, discipline (unless, of course, it involves therapy) is also considered "violent" . . . and we can't have that.  It's much better to make little Johnny--when he departs from the leftist template--think he's a nut-job or "abnormal" and, while you're at it, make sure all his little friends are made to understand that he is dangerous and "not right."  The empty suited administrators give in to the tin-horn dictators with teaching degrees, and all is right in the world of "education."

Meanwhile, don't plan on getting a teaching degree at the University of Minnesota if you don't plan to jump down the rabbit hole and really risk losing your mind.  Read about what's going on in today's "Schools of Education" to discover what's driving the souls of  today's "educators" and you may begin to see how insane things like the case above get elevated to the status of significant issue.  H/T: National Review

UPDATE:  It's hard to know who to believe in this story as the sketchy facts remain sketchy and the even more sketchy personages involved in the case continue to dispute the story.  Ben Boychuk updates, yet again, but sticks by his essential claim that "zero tolerance" works against the interests of those it ought, most importantly, to defend: kids seeking an education.    
Categories > Education

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