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I think that kid should write to the Governor and see if he can fix the mess.
Maybe the Governor will have some common sense.
Meanwhile, he is loosing valuable school time.
Whenever there is a tragedy in a school setting where there are deaths, it seems that people get up in arms wanting schools to take action. They want school to have rules and consequences....to protect the students/staff. It's even been suggested for schools to have a police officer (or security guard) checking things at the front door.
Here is a school that has a zero tolerance policy. A young man gets dressed for a ball game and (from what I can understand) he put on pants that had a knife in them. I'm thinking that when I put my jeans on, I would know right away that I have something bulky in my pocket. But it seems this young man didn't realize he had the knife (?). It's not that I don't completely believe this gent, but it just sounds a bit.....off to me.
So he goes to a school game , realizes he has the knife, and knows he can't bring the knife on school grounds. My next question is how did he get to the game...could he have put the knife in the car he drove in? Could he have gone home and put the knife back?
I am asking these questions because zero tolerance means zero tolerance. It doesn't mean....let's hear your reason and we'll decide if you are telling the truth. Because when you start to do this (not really be zero tolerance), then you might trust the reasoning of someone you shouldn't be trusting.
If this young man hadn't turned in his knife, and had gone to a party after the game, and there was drinking at the party......and then someone was hurt/died as a result of the knife being pulled out, then there'd be people up in arms about why the school didn't do something (or have metal detectors to screen all those that attended the game).
I know the way it's portrayed sounds harsh. But.....in today's climate, we need to adhere to rules that are set.
I also wonder if there is more to the story that isn't being said....but won't be because he's a minor ???
IF this is truly a young man who made a mistake, I hope that he learns to obey the rules. I also hope that they don't go so far that they give him an expulsion. But the idea that they followed through on the suspension I feel is what a school needs to do.
We can't be up in arms wanting schools to do things to keep the students safe when tragedy occurs, yet also be up in arms when they do take action. We can't have it both ways.
These policies remove all of the judgement from the school administration. If we can't trust a school administrator to use good judgement and make good decisions then those people should be fired and we should hire people that can be trusted.
It is ridiculous and harmful to treat everyone (every "violator") the same. It teaches the wrong lessons to the kids. In the particular case that Peter referenced, the effect of the zero tolerance policy was to teach the kid (if he should be in a situation in the future) that it is better to lie, better to conceal. The rules should be encouraging them to do the right thing, reveal what is concealed and "put all the cards on the table". When this (hypothetical) kid grows up and becomes a politician, we should not be surprised when he covers up things that go wrong and hides things from taxpayers so that he "doesn't get into trouble" and lose his next election. Don't we have enough of this bad behavior going on already.
Relating this to Catholic teaching.... What if the Church had a zero tolerance policies. Two people miss Mass on Sunday. One decides to go to a ball game instead. Another has to care for her ill child. MORTAL SINS for both of them!
Relating this to Catholic teaching.... Two people steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store. One person forgot their wallet at home but reasoned that the store always overcharges for its' bread, so he has already "paid" for the bread through his previous "overcharged" purchases. Besides, it is a big chain grocery store. They will never miss the money and their executive probably get paid too much anyway. The second person hasn't eaten in two days and neither have his kids, it is nearly midnight, and the store is closing. He steals a basic loaf of bread so that there will be something for breakfast in the morning. Shall we convict both of shoplifting and send both of them to jail for 30 days? That would be ridiculous.
As Catholics we should know that our intentions and circumstances matter when we do something. If not, then their would be not 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder and unintentional homicide. We would just give 30-year prison sentences to everyone that kills someone. Zero tolerance would certain streamline the court system, but it wouldn't result in justice.
These are bad messages to teach to anyone, much less school-age kids. In the long run, these zero tolerance policies will be very harmful to society.
Just my thoughts.
hand in the knife. If he did not turn it in, no one would have known.
When he turned it in, they told him to go back to his seat and they would
deal with it later. Shortly after, they came and got him.
This is a miscarriage of justice as far as I am concerned. Law enforcement
should have lots of other things to do than this kind of petty nonsense.
It just isn't practical to continue this case against the kid.
There is no reason to punish this kid (referenced by Peter) at all. What are they thinking? He did something wrong, completely by accident, and then he had the good character to fix the situation as best he could. What more should we want of him. I think that they should recognize him at the next school assembly for his good character and for doing what is right even when he knew that doing the right thing would put him at risk. Isn't this the perfect lesson to be teaching to the students at the school? This whole zero-tolerance policy is stupid, stupid, stupid... and we will pay for it (as a society) down the road.
The rule is established. The sanction is clear. Violate the rule, and one will be sanctioned. All that is considered is the action, regardless of other factors, such as whether or not the person is a "good kid." Why should "good kids" be treated any differently than "bad kids?" The rule is the rule, and everyone should be held to the rule.
If one starts arguing that this-or-that factor should be taken into account, where does the rationalization stop? Aren't people responsible for their own actions?
ED's "loaf of bread" example is interesting. Maybe the person who simply forgot their wallet should have just sucked it up and come back the next day.
And maybe the person who couldn't afford the loaf of bread should have gotten a job in the first place. Right, Marianne? www.catholicmatch.com
I grew up on a farm. As kids, between ages of 11 and 18, we would routinely shoot pellet guns, 22-caliber rifles (with scopes) and 12-gauge shotguns within 50 feet of the front door of the house and within 150 feet of the 2-lane highway. We would sight-in the guns, shoot tin cans and flying clay targets into the hillside of one of our fields right beside the house.... Never a single incident. While I was in public high school (grades 9-12), it was not at all uncommon to to see students' pickup trucks parked in the school parking lot with rifles mounted on racks in the back window. Such a scene never even got a second look.... Never a single incident.
All of these zero-tolerance policies are just ridiculous... especially for fake guns. Stupid. Stupid, Stupid.