Saturday, January 13, 2007

Zero Tolerance = Mental Midgets (long post, but worth it)

Mental Midget: <from>

   (a) A person of extremely low I.Q.. Prone to being clueless in all aspects of life

   (b) A person who is narrow-minded or has limited knowledge or insight to anything

         outside his or her immediate life


I receive a weekly mailing from After reading this week's issue, I just had to share some information that was highlighted in that mailing (with links to external sources for confirmation):


This school won't be going to the dogs: While John Cave (age 14) may be deaf, that didn't deter him from wanting to attend public school.  Simba, John's trained assistance dog, isn't allowed to join him though.  Assistance dogs such as Simba are trained to provide assistance in the areas requiring the ability to hear, such as fire and smoke alarms and cars.  John's parents believe that the boy and his dog need to be together at all times so that they can bond and learn to work effectively together. School administrators have deemed that Simba isn't permitted at the school, and even called in the local police to enforce their beliefs.  The school appears to be forcing the issue, even though state law states public facilities cannot bar disabled people with service dogs and federal law requires facilities to change policies banning service animals. story


Honesty doesn't pay: It appears that Ryan Morgan (age 13) would have been been better off just minding his own business when he heard a rumor about a gun in the boys' restroom.  Instead, he found the pellet gun and turned it in to the vice principal.  Was the reply from the principal a "thank you" or pat on the back? Nope, the response was a suspension.  After a meeting between school officials and the parents, the school board responded by dropping the idea of expelling Ryan in exchange for him to be homeschooled.  The school board isn't willing to comment on the case except that the "purposeful possession of weapons is a serious offense and deserves careful consideration by the administration and the school board".  ... Careful consideration should also include intent! story and article


I can't believe he did that: A student was recently suspended for "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment." Finally, something that was worth being suspended for, right?  Well, what if the suspension was handed down to a 4 year student who hugged a teacher's aid, and during the hug his face was pressed against her breasts.  After the boy's father shared this event with the local media, the offense had been changed to "inappropriate physical contact" and references of sexual conduct or sexual harassment were dropped from the boy's file.  The parents aren't satisfied with the 'reduced charges' and are continuing their efforts to get this completely removed from his school records.


I understand the mindset behind the Zero Tolerance rules that have had to be implemented at the schools.  However, I also understand there are supposed to be intelligent adults in leadership positions within the schools to enforce the rules, or provide leniency where applicable.  Trained service animals should be allowed ... found weapons need to be turned in .... and 4 year olds are committing sexual harassment!  Heads need to be used more than just for hat racks.

<rant mode=off>

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