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January 30, 2002
A letter to Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
January 30, 2002
Legislators have no tolerance for zero tolerance
Iım glad to hear that the Georgia Senate is finally doing something about their zero tolerance rules.
I first noticed these rules several years ago when signs were erected in front of schools claiming the campuses to be zero tolerance.
I thought this was fine at first. I figured they were talking about drugs narcotics, or the illegal forms of drugs. And yes, they meant illegal drugs. But the truth is they were managing to nail students who were using Tylenol and other over-the-counter remedies.
Please tell me what a student can do wrong with a bottle of Tylenol. Could taking a couple of pills to get rid of a headache cause them to flunk out of class? Could they sell individual capsules for outrageous prices to other students? Or even worse, could they obtain a large enough bottle to unmercifully flog another student or faculty member during an adolescent fit of rage?
No. The rules have grown to be so stupid over time. The rules themselves were fine until they started coming down hard on over-the-counter drugs and other items that could be considered drugs by an administrator with a wild imagination (breath mints). These administrators who have discretion over such things tend to make outrageous decisions when dealing with things such as Tylenol, aspirin or even refreshing breath mints.
Oh and letıs not forget about the student in Gwinnett County who was suspended after joking that her grape juice was wine. I think the student was in seventh grade, so it sounds like the kind of humor someone of that age would be using. The Gwinnett County School system must be quite proud of itself.
Please donıt assume Iım coming down hard on all administrators. Iım sure somewhere out there, there have to be one or two with at least some common sense.
Then there is the other half of zero toleranceı weapons. If you were in the classroom, and you had the intent of inflicting severe suffering on someone, you wouldnıt need to pull out a gun, knife or Tweety Bird key chain. You could just use your pencil or pen to stab them in the throat.
Maybe they should replace pencils and pens with something much safer. Such as mud. Students could use their fingers to write their homework on paper using the mud.
Wait, that would never work. A mob of angry students could hold down an innocent student and force mud in their face, blocking their oxygen supply. What a sad, mean world we live in.
Along with pens and pencils, books should be eliminated. I have been unfortunate enough to be hit hard on top of the head with a large textbook. If someone struck an elderly teacher in the head with a large English (now Language Arts) book, it could cause great bodily injury and perhaps death.
Even computers can be considered weapons. A mouse alone can be quite deadly. It has that strong cord thatıs just long enough to wrap around a personıs neck. Youıd think schools would want to revert back to early 1980s technology to prevent such an incident.
I wonıt even mention what can be done with a keyboard. I will leave it up to your imagination to determine what horrendous devastation can be unleashed with the tool of destruction commonly referred to as a ³keyboard.²
Itıs such a shame that schools are filled with the very things they are trying to ban. These things are so harmful to students around the country that Iım surprised weıre not putting more young people into the ground from mouse attacks due to Tylenol deals gone wrong. Iım glad administrators around the state are helping to eliminate these potential schoolhouse scourgings.
All the Georgia Legislature is doing is asking school systems to use ³common sense.² I laugh at the thought of a world in which school systems use common sense, because maybe then, the world would be closer to perfect.
I doubt it will change much, if at all. The administrators who get high off their power trips will continue to do so, until all of them are individually exposed by the media. It seems as though every time the media gets ahold of one of these knee-jerk fascists (a reactionary or dictatorial person), they quickly resign and in comes another idiot.
Maybe these zombies (one who looks or behaves like an automaton) will listen to the Georgia Legislature, but I doubt they will.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for MainStreet News Inc. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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