A story this week by True contributor Jennifer Weiner struck me the wrong way, so I sent it back for a rewrite. I thought you might find the original story intriguing, as well as her reaction to my rewrite request.
The “zero tolerance” stories just don’t stop, despite court decisions and legislators demanding “common sense.” A 2″ hunk of plastic isn’t a gun, unless you’re a hysterical grade school principal who demands that 9-year-olds in your care sign confessions when they bring a toy to school.
The New York Times had an article today on a ridiculous zero tolerance situation: a kid in Delaware who was so excited to get his Cub Scouts camping utensil — a fork, knife and spoon combo — that he took it to school to eat his lunch with. Yeah, a Cub Scout: Zachary Christie is just 6 years old.
A tremendous number of zero tolerance stories pass in front of me as I search for stories for True, and (contrary to what some readers think) I pass by most of them. I’ve previously encouraged those who are truly wronged by ZT to consider suing their schools.
Two stories this week have photos to go with them. First, the dangerous desperado and the dual damsels:
I thought many readers would like to see the photos that go with a story from the 10 February 2008 issue, and maybe you will have examples of other “inappropriate” products, especially for children. First, the story:
There’s a group of friends I hang out with online, all of us online entrepreneurs. One sent a URL around urging us all to “take 8 minutes to watch the video,” adding “if you care about such things, please consider blogging about it and/or passing it on.” What things? Our kids. Or, more accurately, the education of our kids. The world is a very, very different place than it was when we were kids.
Remember the story from last week about the high schoolers that created an anti-drunk-driving t-shirt after their classmates were killed in an accident? Well, I got a lot of comments on it. Let’s start first with the story:
Several readers wanted to know what happened to the kid in the last story last week (copied below) — is he still wandering the airport or what?
Now and then a reader will write to say they’re outraged by a story — that it’s “not humorous.”
Saaya Melts Hearts — But May Break Yours
A photo is “worth a thousand words,” so yes, I’ve got the photos (below). But usually you need some words to put the photos in context.
This is True often deals with education. That’s due to several factors, including: 1) We all spend so many of our formative years in school, 2) Kids have a knack for doing really dumb things sometimes, and 3) School administrators and teachers always want to outdo the kids, and thus pull even dumber stunts.
You’ll no doubt have questions after reading the story and seeing the photo, from the 5 December 2004 issue.
Another example of the photos “making” the story. From the 12 September 2004 issue.
NOTICE: As you already know from the page title, Includes NSFW Photo
Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it. From True‘s 4 November 2001 issue:
I’ve been saying — for a couple of years now — that “Zero Tolerance” policies and laws “terrorize” school children. It’s hard enough for adults in America to understand the new way of life as we face true terrorism; imagine how hard it is for kids. Here’s how one child tried to cope — and how the “adults” around him reacted.