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Old 06-11-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Lewes, Delaware
3,463 posts, read 3,008,228 times
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In a school district close to mine, a 2nd grader was kicked out of school for bringing a cake knife to class to cut his birthday cake, in the same district a 1st grader was kicked out for bringing his Swiss Army knife to lunch to eat his pudding. The parents had to sue and the district changed its rules about Zero tolerance. In the school district that my kids go to a 4th grader last year removed the razor blade from his plastic pencil sharpener and slashed two kids, he received 1 day in school suspension. This year he caused enough problems to finally be removed from the school. I think each situation should be treated differently, clearly a child that removes a blade from a pencil sharpener is alot more dangerous than a child who brings a cake knife to school.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
1,282 posts, read 1,558,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Basic question is the current zero tolerance used in schools fair and balanced?

Weapons aside alot of kids get expelled ,or punished, for infractions of a policy that is defies common sense in most cases. I'm glad our sons are grown so I don't have to deal with this insane system......
There is nothing wrong with zero tolerance so long as it is applied with common sense.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
1,282 posts, read 1,558,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James420 View Post
In a school district close to mine, a 2nd grader was kicked out of school for bringing a cake knife to class to cut his birthday cake, in the same district a 1st grader was kicked out for bringing his Swiss Army knife to lunch to eat his pudding. The parents had to sue and the district changed its rules about Zero tolerance. In the school district that my kids go to a 4th grader last year removed the razor blade from his plastic pencil sharpener and slashed two kids, he received 1 day in school suspension. This year he caused enough problems to finally be removed from the school. I think each situation should be treated differently, clearly a child that removes a blade from a pencil sharpener is alot more dangerous than a child who brings a cake knife to school.
As I said it needs to be applied with common sense. The problem is that lots of school administrators lack common sense which is why we have these policies to begin with. The kid who brought the cake knife should have been reprimanded for it. He broke the rules. But a suspension? No! He should have been called into the Principal's office with his parents and given a verbal warning and his parents given a copy of the school no knives policy. Put the shoe on the other foot and suppose the kid brought the knife and to cut the cake and then suppose another kid got mad because he didn't get a piece of the cake and picked up the knife and seriously injured somebody. Everybody would be screaming about why the school allowed a child to bring a dangerous object to school.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:24 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,716,271 times
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Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
There is nothing wrong with zero tolerance so long as it is applied with common sense.
The very definition of zero tolerance is that there is no "wiggle room" or ability to apply common sense. If there is an infraction the administration looks at the chart and applies the penalty. Zero tolerance means no deviation from the published penalty.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,112 posts, read 39,184,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
As I said it needs to be applied with common sense. The problem is that lots of school administrators lack common sense which is why we have these policies to begin with. The kid who brought the cake knife should have been reprimanded for it. He broke the rules. But a suspension? No! He should have been called into the Principal's office with his parents and given a verbal warning and his parents given a copy of the school no knives policy. Put the shoe on the other foot and suppose the kid brought the knife and to cut the cake and then suppose another kid got mad because he didn't get a piece of the cake and picked up the knife and seriously injured somebody. Everybody would be screaming about why the school allowed a child to bring a dangerous object to school.

The bolded is true in many cases but keep in mind that adminstrators and teachers don't set policy at any level. Policy is set at the local school board level and, in some states, the state level.

If a local school board, state school board, or legislature sets the policy the administrators and teachers have to carry it out.

A personal example: many years ago I testified at a hearing against the MD requirement for mandatory volunteering as a graduation requirement. It was passed anyway so I have no choice but to make sure the kids do it. The same works with zero tolerance, that's not set at the school building level but at the policy making level. The policy gets adopted it has to be followed.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:33 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,716,271 times
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Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
As I said it needs to be applied with common sense. The problem is that lots of school administrators lack common sense which is why we have these policies to begin with. The kid who brought the cake knife should have been reprimanded for it. He broke the rules. But a suspension? No! He should have been called into the Principal's office with his parents and given a verbal warning and his parents given a copy of the school no knives policy. Put the shoe on the other foot and suppose the kid brought the knife and to cut the cake and then suppose another kid got mad because he didn't get a piece of the cake and picked up the knife and seriously injured somebody. Everybody would be screaming about why the school allowed a child to bring a dangerous object to school.
I don't think you understand what zero tolerance means.

If you Google 'Broward county schools suspension' the matrix for the school district where I live (Fort Lauderdale area) will come up.

Administrators cannot deviate from the published schedule. There is no common sense.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,005,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
There is nothing wrong with zero tolerance so long as it is applied with common sense.
That's the problem here! Common sense and zero tolerance are NEVER applied at the same time!
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:26 PM
 
1,248 posts, read 1,833,680 times
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Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
There is nothing wrong with zero tolerance so long as it is applied with common sense.
Zero tolerance means there can be no judgment, logic, consideration or thought...just robotic, draconian action. That's why you have people suspended solely for being shoved by another student, because that is considered fighting or nail clippers in a purse being treated the same as a bloody hunting knife.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: The Brightest City On Earth
1,282 posts, read 1,558,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I don't think you understand what zero tolerance means.

If you Google 'Broward county schools suspension' the matrix for the school district where I live (Fort Lauderdale area) will come up.

Administrators cannot deviate from the published schedule. There is no common sense.
When you say zero tolerance, I mean zero tolerance for the offense itself. That means if we have a policy that says "knives shall not be brought to school" it means just that. It does not matter to me WHY the knife was brought to school as far as the infraction goes. The fact that it was brought to school is a violation. BUT I do not mean that a punishment should be made mandatory in the situation. The PUNISHMENT for the offense should be left to the discretion of the school administration and, if the parent felt it was unfair, appealed only to the school board. I believe that courts have no business getting involved in the disciplinary processes of school administrators except in very limited circumstances such as racial, religious or ethnic discrimination.
The school administration, in deciding the punishment, should look at the circumstances surrounding the violation. A birthday cake knife is much different than a hunting knife or switchblade in a back pack. They should also consider the student's prior discipline issues, the student's age, grades and ask for input from the student's teachers. Then they should come to what is a fair and appropriate punishment for the offense. In the case of the birthday cake for a 10 year old C student that had no prior discipline, that would be a verbal reprimand to the student and his parents. In the case of a high school student who had prior disciplinary problems, poor grades and was caught with a concealed 6 inch switchblade, expulsion might be in order.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Lewes, Delaware
3,463 posts, read 3,008,228 times
Reputation: 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Joe View Post
As I said it needs to be applied with common sense. The problem is that lots of school administrators lack common sense which is why we have these policies to begin with. The kid who brought the cake knife should have been reprimanded for it. He broke the rules. But a suspension? No! He should have been called into the Principal's office with his parents and given a verbal warning and his parents given a copy of the school no knives policy. Put the shoe on the other foot and suppose the kid brought the knife and to cut the cake and then suppose another kid got mad because he didn't get a piece of the cake and picked up the knife and seriously injured somebody. Everybody would be screaming about why the school allowed a child to bring a dangerous object to school.
The kids who brought the cake knife and the Swiss Army knife weren't suspended they were expelled. The only suspension was for the razor blade incident.
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