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My son received In School Suspension - the "Zero Tolerance" punishment for
the 1st offense of this type - in 1st grade for repeating a supposed "curse"
word another child had said. He had never heard the word before & couldn't
even remember what it was by the time he got home. He only said it because
the kids laughed the 1st time & he wanted to be funny also. (6 yr. old
logic?) I went to the principal the next morning & told him I would not
allow it & would bring it up at the next sch. bd. mtg if it was not
reversed. He decided to agree.
In 2nd grade, my son was suspended for the rest of his life since I refused
to put him in a uniform.
This is where ZTOL is going - removing all of the "unwanted" students (&
parents)from the public schools so that the schools will no longer be
responsible for them.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karen Canty" <kscanty@PACBELL.NET>
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: 1/30/02 -- Supreme Court Declines to Accept 'Zero Tolerance'
Case-- Educ...

> Victor,
> Thank you for such an eloquent reply to the Zero Tolerance issue...I have
> just one anecdote that I hope illustrates your point...My first expulsion
> hearing as a school board member came before "zero tolerance" so that we
> a district could actually use our judgment about an individual student.
> student was a 7th grade student who had brought a gun to school; it was
> discovered because he was "showing" it to other students. We immediately
> suspended him - per policy - and set up an expulsion hearing...After a
> lengthy report and hearing, the recommendation of the staff at the school
> was not to expel, i.e., remove him from school but to "expel and then
> suspend the expulsion" - which we could do...the reasons were many...he
> a minority student in an overwhelmingly white school; he was new to our
> district in 7th grade; and his family situation was less than
> helpful...so...he came back to school, graduated, went on to high school,
> returned to his native country for some time, came back, graduated from
> school and the last I heard was working, married and expecting a child...I
> shudder to think what might have happened to him had we expelled him and
> him on the street (there is no community school, only Independent study
> students not in high school)...Fortunately, we haven't had to deal with
> expulsions of that nature since the zero tolerance policy in Ca. was
> but it seems to me that when adults are allowed to use judgment and not
> proscribed remedies, we do a lot better....
> The discussion at the California Schools Board Association delegate
> meeting when Prop 21 was on the ballot - the one that lowered the age to
> when a person could be tried as an adult and took that decision out of the
> hands of judges and put it into the hands of prosecutors, redefined the
> "gang", etc.-was interesting...the people who spoke in opposition were all
> of us "softies" - moms, teachers, juvenile judges, etc. --the people who
> were "pro" were police officers, probation officers, wives of policemen
> probation officers - and the discussion cut across all ethnic groups -
> people on both sides were from every ethnic group...what appeared to
> was what people did for a living....the proposition, of course, passed but
> has yet to be implemented because there were court challenges....The
> against were arguing to allow juvenile judges the authority to use their
> judgment; the people opposed didn't trust that the judges would use it
> correctly so supported proscriptive rules...
> Don't know where this will all lead us but it sure is scary....
> Karen
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