Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Simple Math: Zero Tolerance = Zero Sense

This was on the radio this morning, and it certainly makes me glad to be far, far away from High School. A McHenry, Il area high school suspended and then the school district subsequently expelled a student, Derek Leon Kelly, from school for the rest of the year. What was his crime? Doodling DLK in a notebook during detention. They insisted that it meant "Disciple Latin Kings" - which doesn't make sense anyway, as it's a mishmash of two rival gangs.
Zero tolerance was based on a good theory that you didn't want to tolerate students doing legitimately bad things, but it's turned into the lazy man's punishment tool. Did you mention blood in a short story? That must be a gang reference - the Bloods!
You couldn't possibly have meant, say, blood. You know, the stuff that's in everybody's bodies? This is ridiculous and what the district ended up doing is putting a kid - a kid who's had some trouble, granted - on the street instead of in school. Where's he going to go? Well, either to the Latin Disciples or Latin Kings. I think that he may even straddle the fence and swing both ways what with his drawing and all.

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