Zero Tolerance: Then and Now

I got about a million copies of this from various friends and readers, partly as a response to my continual ranting about "Zero Tolerance".

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Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

1973: Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2007: School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.


Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1973: Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2007: Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.


Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.

1973: Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

2007: Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.


Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

1973: Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007: Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.


Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

1973: Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

2007: Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.


Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1973: Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007: Pedro's cause is taken up by citizen's educational caucus. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.


Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1973: Ants die. Johnny observes the flying dirt clods and realizes the power of explosives and is more careful from then on.

2007: Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again. PETA throws "ant blood" on Johnny, and the resulting PTSD causes him to become a serial killer.


Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1973: In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007: Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.

Posted January 22, 2007

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