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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:13 AM   #1
PracticalMac
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"Zero tolerance" policy destroying our children?

In some states convicted criminals have 2 chances to change themselves. On the third try they are imprisoned for life.

For children is seems they have no chances (granted do not hear all the facts).

It sounds like draconian rules to instill fear and evict anyone that might have an inkling of being trouble. Reminds of one Harry Potter movie and that cat loving pink suited head master.

Some examples I heard:
Aspirin or Tylenol to school: Evicted.
X-acto knife for class project: Evicted
Criticizing school staff: Evicted
Off campus during lunch: Evicted

What else?

(Note, i think many HS allow smoking. Go figure)

Discuss
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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When I was in school I didn't give a crap about my future, I broke plenty of rules and generally flipped off authority whenever I could. I never hurt anyone though, emotionally or physically.

Despite my antics I got through school fine, got reasonable grades and since I've grown up a little I'm bloody thankful that I wasn't kicked out or anything like that.

As far as I'm concerned "zero tolerance" just just playing russian roulette with kid's futures. Kids mess up and unless they've done so such that they cause tangible harm to another punishment should be proportionate to the crime.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Some people just feel the need to overreact to everything. That damn pendulum always swings too far in either direction.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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I broke plenty of rules ...
I hear ya.

I broke rules too, mostly due to ignorance, a few minor rules intentionally.

Can anyone honestly say they never broke a rule in school their entire life?
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:26 AM   #5
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I don't think you'll find many high schools that allow smoking. Out of all the things you listed, I think smoking was the only one that might get you into any sort of trouble at my high school.

Can't say for sure because I didn't smoke in high school. But while the other things you listed probably weren't allowed, administrators would generally look the other way, especially if you were a good student.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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Zero tolerance is lazy governance. It's for administrators that can't deal with problems, so they defer to zero tolerance so they don't have to.

Obviously there are extremes that should not be tolerated, but we've gone way overboard.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:27 PM   #7
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Agree 100% that "zero tolerance" is lazy, autopilot management. If you don't need someone capable of managing and making reasoned judgments, why have a principal to begin with? Suspending kids on the basis of a "zero tolerance" policy is dumb.

On the other hand, having seen some of this in practice, most kids get it-- they understand that sometimes rules, and laws, are crazy, and the message is "deal with it". That isn't necessarily bad preparation for adult life.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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The rules regarding discipline in schools do seem Draconian. Moreover, I bet they're invented by the management to get rid of the 'wrong kind of student', so their performance statistics will look better.

Once in a chemistry class my friend and I were handling some sort of metallic substance* (potassium?) that was usually keep under oil, usually handled in very small amounts, and strictly off limits to students. Anyways, the teacher walked toward our lab bench so we jettisoned about a cubic cm of the stuff down the drain of the sink. Well, it reacted to with whatever crap the previous class had poured down the sink. Violently. In the space of about 10 seconds it started to bubble, then fizz, then pop, then steam arose from the drain, and then KA-BLAM. As best as I can tell, the exothermic reaction either ignited hydrogen gas generated by the reaction, or perhaps it simply ignited methane in the pipe. Whatever the source of the gas that ignited, the explosion was sufficiently energetic to liberate large quantities of dust from the ceiling tiles above us. Suffice it to say the chemistry teacher was not amused. My point is that my punishment for this - a dangerous, stupid stunt that could have caused injury - was all of 30 minutes of detention for one day. These days I would have been expelled.

*It seemed like a good idea at the time.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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Kids get into trouble. It is how they learn stuff. Are schools opposed to learning stuff?
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:20 PM   #10
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Kids get into trouble. It is how they learn stuff. Are schools opposed to learning stuff?
Yes.
Their goal is to get as many kids in as possible, with the least amount of hassle, so that they can maximize their funding, minimize their grief from parents and lawmakers, and the administrators increase their sense of importance.

(I'm not sure if I should include a <sarcasm> tag or not...)
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:20 PM   #11
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Kids get into trouble. It is how they learn stuff. Are schools opposed to learning stuff?
Explain to me the difference between these two situations...

A kid brings a gun to school. Gets suspended, and charged with concealed weapons possession on public property.

A kid brings a bottle of Tylenol to school. Gets suspended, and arrested for trafficking in controlled substances.

...which one is justified?
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
Explain to me the difference between these two situations...

A kid brings a gun to school. Gets suspended, and charged with concealed weapons possession on public property.

A kid brings a bottle of Tylenol to school. Gets suspended, and arrested for trafficking in controlled substances.

...which one is justified?
Kids are getting charged with trafficking a controlled substance for a bottle of Tylenol?
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Kids are getting charged with trafficking a controlled substance for a bottle of Tylenol?
It wouldn't surprise me. I do know for a fact kids have been suspended for bringing Tylenol, Midol, and aspirin to school before, though I don't know how far it was taken beyond that.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:03 PM   #14
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It wouldn't surprise me. I do know for a fact kids have been suspended for bringing Tylenol, Midol, and aspirin to school before, though I don't know how far it was taken beyond that.
Usually that's as far as it goes. They get sent home for a day or two and then that's that.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:07 PM   #15
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I don't think you'll find many high schools that allow smoking. Out of all the things you listed, I think smoking was the only one that might get you into any sort of trouble at my high school.

Can't say for sure because I didn't smoke in high school. But while the other things you listed probably weren't allowed, administrators would generally look the other way, especially if you were a good student.
For the record, mine did.

Katy, TX district. (1985)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
On the other hand, having seen some of this in practice, most kids get it-- they understand that sometimes rules, and laws, are crazy, and the message is "deal with it". That isn't necessarily bad preparation for adult life.
Irony is deep in this one.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:11 PM   #16
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Edit .. Didn't see other thread
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Kids are getting charged with trafficking a controlled substance for a bottle of Tylenol?
USA Today article concerning Midol
Quote:
expulsions for students with offenses ranging from carrying prescription medication to having blunt-tipped scissors, such as those often used by elementary students.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:18 PM   #18
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Had I been punished for everything I did in middle and high school... I probably would have been sent home on suspension multiple times.

The senior prank I pulled probably should have gotten me kicked out from walking during high school graduation if they had actually cared to enforce anything.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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Usually that's as far as it goes. They get sent home for a day or two and then that's that.
No, there have been stories about kids getting suspended for over the counter medications. It's a part of their Zero Tolerance efforts on drugs in schools.

I can understand and justify a kid bringing a bunch of Tylenol pills to school in an unmarked zip-lock baggy and getting read the riot act once everyone figures out what's going on. But this is flat out "you brought drugs to school. Tylenol is a drug, therefore you're suspended". No forethought, no analyzing the situation and applying the appropriate action. Just a bunch of jerked knees and hysterics over not much at all.

I find that ridiculous.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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No, there have been stories about kids getting suspended for over the counter medications. It's a part of their Zero Tolerance efforts on drugs in schools.

I can understand and justify a kid bringing a bunch of Tylenol pills to school in an unmarked zip-lock baggy and getting read the riot act once everyone figures out what's going on. But this is flat out "you brought drugs to school. Tylenol is a drug, therefore you're suspended". No forethought, no analyzing the situation and applying the appropriate action. Just a bunch of jerked knees and hysterics over not much at all.

I find that ridiculous.
Getting sent home = suspended. That's pretty much what I was saying.

And having a baggy of Tylenol hanging around in a school is something that honestly should be a suspend-able offense. Like any drug, it can be hazardous if someone takes too many of them and having kids walking around a school with unmarked baggies of pills is something that should be taken seriously.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 03:58 PM   #21
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Getting sent home = suspended. That's pretty much what I was saying.
When I say suspended, I mean permanently removed from enrollment here. I could justify a couple days due to idiocy, but...

Quote:
And having a baggy of Tylenol hanging around in a school is something that honestly should be a suspend-able offense. Like any drug, it can be hazardous if someone takes too many of them and having kids walking around a school with unmarked baggies of pills is something that should be taken seriously.
Yup. That's why I said they should get an ear full over doing something so potentially dumb. But punishment to that extreme is a bit beyond the pale in my opinion. I mean it's Tylenol. The kids were likely carrying them around to help relieve headaches. There isn't much you can do with Tylenol besides that. They're not taking them for a quick acetaminophen buzz, that's for sure.

As for accidentally hurting yourself with Tylenol? Well...I have to say...if you're the type who sees an unmarked baggy of white pills, and thinks "ALRIGHT! RANDOM DRUGS NOM NOM NOM OOH SO GOOD", you probably deserve whatever happens to you.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:08 PM   #22
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You shouldn't be sending your kid to school with Aspirin or Tylenol. These are not medications that can be bought without an ID card, and have multiple warnings labels on them. I have a friend who is actually allergic to acetaminophen which is the main ingredient in Tylenol. You also want to stay away from Aspirin as much as possible for the different problems it can cause as well.

If you have a headache or are experiencing pain, you ask your teacher for permission to go to the nurse, or you go between classes. A student shouldn't be administering themselves medication, nor should they be giving their friends some either. In the case of my friend, if someone would have offered her some Tylenol, she would have probably ended up in the emergency room. It is something schools doesn't want to have to deal with.

Teachers at my school had X-acto cutters on hand all the time. You, again, can't really buy this stuff at a physical store without proper identification because it's a really sharp tool. It's useful for projects, but if you really needed one, asking a teacher to buy one for use for the whole class is a better solution.

As for off campus lunch... There were specific days when this was allowed. I used to know people that used to run off to the bookstore during that time though. Can you imagine what would have happened if a parent showed up looking for them because they had an emergency and needed to have them home? Can you imagine if they got into a car accident?

When I was in middle school, I used to stay in the after school program in the computer lab. And one time some lady decided to take a bunch of her kid's friends to Starbucks, maybe about five. One of their parents showed up ten minutes later to take them home, and the teacher had no idea where they were. They all showed up like 30 minutes later, and that teacher freaked out and told them that it wasn't going to happen anymore. The parent wasn't too fussed about it, but that lady really shouldn't have done that.

Most of this kind of stuff is in the handbooks though, they can't just let stuff slip because of good students, they have to play by the rules.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:15 PM   #23
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You shouldn't be sending your kid to school with Aspirin or Tylenol. These are not medications that can be bought without an ID card, and have multiple warnings labels on them. I have a friend who is actually allergic to acetaminophen which is the main ingredient in Tylenol. You also want to stay away from Aspirin as much as possible for the different problems it can cause as well.

Where do you need ID to buy Tylenol or Aspirin? Here, you do if it has pseudophedrine, but not for regular Tylenol.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:26 PM   #24
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No, there have been stories about kids getting suspended for over the counter medications. It's a part of their Zero Tolerance efforts on drugs in schools.

I can understand and justify a kid bringing a bunch of Tylenol pills to school in an unmarked zip-lock baggy and getting read the riot act once everyone figures out what's going on. But this is flat out "you brought drugs to school. Tylenol is a drug, therefore you're suspended". No forethought, no analyzing the situation and applying the appropriate action. Just a bunch of jerked knees and hysterics over not much at all.

I find that ridiculous.
Don't forget the girl who was strip-searched - sexually assaulted, I'd say - after being accused, by another student, of having Advil. She didn't have any Advil, by the way.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:46 PM   #25
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Don't forget the girl who was strip-searched - sexually assaulted, I'd say - after being accused, by another student, of having Advil. She didn't have any Advil, by the way.
I think I remember hearing about that. Don't remember the sexual assault, but the strip search and resulting panic...

...over Advil?

What harm can you do with Advil? It doesn't induce an altered state in any way, so no one's gonna be popping them for recreational use. I guess you could use them to kill yourself, but lets think about the implications of someone using over the counter medication to commit slow suicide at a public school. Anyone attempting that obviously has issues they can't deal with, and is crying for help in the most blatant and theatrical way possible. That's an entirely separate issue from bringing drugs to school, only superficially connected, and should be addressed accordingly.

Otherwise, what reason does anyone have for bringing Advil to school? If they're not getting high off it, and not using it as a means to end it all...then why bring it at all? I'd say it's probably because their back hurts. So how should it be handled?

"Hey, I hear you brought Advil to school"
"...yeah"
"Okay. Give it here. We don't like our students carrying medication of any kind on their persons. It leads to too many complications. You need it, we'll have it at the nurses office".

...and then it's done. Treated properly, efficiently, and with a bit of sanity. If some dipwad kid keeps bringing more with them after this nice little discussion, that's when you start applying the detentions and suspensions. Even then you don't go batcrap insane over the issue.

The appropriate action for every infraction. The appropriate punishment applied thusly. That's the way it should be done.

Treating a kid with a bottle of Advil the same as if they brought 14 kilos of uncut cocaine? That's not appropriate. At all.
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