People in charge of classes, schools, and school districts usually want to do the right thing. Many times, though, they do not seem to use common sense when using discipline. The problem is that they do not have a good sense for matching the severity with the severity of the infraction. Here are five stupid school stories that show this rediculous lack of judgement(chosen from a list of many):
* A 13 year old boy is suspended and faces expulsion for an assault with a rubber band (Florida, 2005)--Gomez said when his science teacher demanded the rubber band, the student said he tossed it on her desk. After the incident, Gomez received a 10-day suspension for threatening his teacher with what administrators say was a weapon. "They said if he would have aimed it a little more and he would have gotten it closer to her face he would have hit her in the eye," mother Jenette Rojas said. Rojas said she was shocked to learn that her son was being punished for a Level 4 offense -- the highest Level at the school.
*Teen Faces Criminal Assault Charges for Shooting Spitwads in School (Virginia, 2011)--At first, Andrew was slapped with a 10-day suspension, but the county school board later voted to extend his punishment, citing the school’s Student Code of Conduct no-tolerance policy that requires any student found with “any type of weapon, or object used to intimidate, threaten or harm others“ be ”expelled for a minimum of 365 days“ unless ”special circumstances exist.” Andrew’s family claims the school is “criminalizing childish behavior”.
*Third-Grader Suspended for Drawing Armed Soldier (Louisiana, 2001)--A picture of a soldier holding a canteen and a knife has earned the third-grade boy who drew it a suspension from school. Wire reports said the third-grader also drew a fort, listing its inventory as guns, knives, and first-aid kits. The principal of Lenwill Elementary School in West Monroe, La., is quoted as saying that the school "can't tolerate anything that has to do with guns or knives." The boy's father said he's been forced to explain to his son that being in the Army and owning guns "is not bad." According to press reports, school officials stand by their decision to punish the child for what they consider "a violent arrangement."
*Student arrested for burping (New Mexico, 2011). A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque public school principal, a teacher and a city police officer.
*9-year-old student suspended for sexual harassment after calling teacher 'cute,' (North Carolina, 2011) Chiquita Lockett said a substitute teacher overheard her son, Emanyea, chatting with a friend when he issued the compliment about another instructor – and then was sent home.
I am not saying that these students should not have been punished. The problem is that the punishment was so much more severe than the severity of the misbehavior that it makes the people in charge look like idiots. A lot of times a zero-tolerance stance on discipline is the reason for these rediculous actions. Zero-tolerance is not the answer. Reasonable rules and consequences are the only solutions to these problems.
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