This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies. They are the policy makers equivalent of the parent driving in 1975 with their head turned sideways with two finger tips of the left hand barely grazing the steering wheel, and the right arm swinging wildly towards the back seat of the car while screaming “I don’t care who started it, I’m going to stop it. Now don’t make me pull over!” Stupid, somewhat dangerous, short-sighted and completely lacking in justice.

A few days ago my son was targeted in PE class (you can’t call it gym anymore, people lose their mind over that). They were playing “touch” football, my son was tackled when the ball wasn’t anywhere near him. This might be considered horseplay if the perpetrator wasn’t a notorious jackass. He put one hand on my kid’s face and the other on his collar bone near his neck. My kid started to push back and cursed at the thug wannabe who started it. Technically my kid could get in trouble for standing up for himself, that’s f*cked.

My son was lucky. Although no one saw the physical altercation, the PE teacher totally had my son’s back.  He pretended not to hear the curse words my son surely yelled. Why? Because my kid is a good student who has never (not once) been in trouble at school. He’s in 8th grade so that says a lot about his character, luckily the teacher recognized this. The other kid is on the dirty dozen list at school. He’s been a troublemaker since 1st grade everyone knows this kid is trouble, everyone. These are the people that lawyer up when the school tries to rein in their unruly child. So this kid continues to terrorize the good kids and gets the occasional metaphoric slap on the wrist. What he really needs is a punch in the gut and a kick in the ass, metaphorically speaking of course… tongue is so far into my cheek right now.

The system is broken. This zero tolerance stuff is ineffective – why – because you need to consider the facts on a case by case basis. I’ve heard horror stories about kids making pretend guns using their index finger as the muzzle and their thumb as the hammer. Kindergartners  have gotten expelled for this, expelled. I’ve heard of middle school girls getting suspended for bringing Midol in to ease cramping. It’s ridiculous the pendulum has swung too far my friends. Time to bring common sense and her brother good judgement back to school. I really miss those two.

This sums it up nicely –





7 responses »

  1. I understand these policies, but I think you’re right – it’s a case of the pendulum swinging way too far in the other direction. Somewhere there is a reasonable balance. The problem is that things like decency and good judgment and responsibility for our actions have become nostalgic ideas, and I think that’s a dangerous place to be. Really sorry your son has to deal with this – and you. It sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know in my own college experience (as an education major) I would ask, “But what do we do about disciplinary problem children, like the uncontrollable kind?”

    “There is no such thing Jess, they are all wonderful gifts.” (Having been jumped by a classroom full of seventh graders earlier that week for threatening a principal visit this did not necessarily work for me)

    “ya, ya, I get that. But what if these gifts just so happens to also be a jack asses?”

    “Send them to the principal’s office.”

    “And then what?”

    Seriously we need more effective methods, or just any methods what so ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is so much lip service given to bullying…..then when the actual bullies present themselves the consistent discipline is lacking – why? This makes my head spin. God bless if you teach that is a noble and underrated profession.


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