Who'd a thunk that idiotic zero-tolerance policies would have hung around longer than Saved by the Bell? The Wash Times reports from the frontlines of one of the longest-running and losingest battle in American schools:
Fifth-graders in California who adorned their mortarboards with tiny toy plastic soldiers last week to support troops in Iraq were forced to cut off their miniature weapons. A Utah boy was suspended for giving his cousin a cold pill prescribed to both students. In Rhode Island, a kindergartner was suspended for bringing a plastic knife to school so he could cut cookies.
Personally, I think if the Rhode Island kid can't break the cookies with his teeth or a textbook–or maybe a circular saw in shop class–he probably doesn't deserve them. Still, here are some chilling, if outdated, stats:
A 1997 survey of more than 1,200 public schools by the U.S. Department of Education found that 79 percent had zero-tolerance policies against violence, 88 percent for drugs, 91 percent for weapons and 94 percent for firearms.
Such stats, of course, miss the greatest zero tolerance policy of all, in force since at least Huck Finn's time: Zero tolerance of learning.