Podcast 010: Zero Tolerance

In This Episode: No Longer Weird: An obliviot trying to pass a 99-cent “$1 million bill”. And it’s Episode 10: you’re darn right it’s time to do a bit of a rant on zero tolerance! Clare and I talk about an older case that was so clearly a case of “Sue ’em!” — that the family did. But it sure wasn’t an easy road, in part because the offending school fought it hard (read: freely spent tax money to defend absolutely outrageous actions!)

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Originally posted 7 September 2017

Gasping for Breath …Still

The Two Lead Stories this week (the “asthma stories”) were by far the most-suggested stories by readers recently. I think every one of them just suggested one or the other, and they probably didn’t know about the other. The two stories, which happened about a week apart, and about 165 miles apart, are pretty amazing together. Let’s start with the two stories, in True’s 24 January 2016 issue:

Continue ReadingGasping for Breath …Still

Originally posted 25 January 2016

1984 in 2010: a ZT Influence

My recent blog post analyzing a Zero Tolerance case (Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”) showed just how crazy people can get trying to control others, and their desire to punish non-transgressions just the same as if the person was actually doing something wrong. Most people fully got the point. Others, to my shock, didn’t.

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Originally posted 22 February 2010

Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”

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.

Continue ReadingPatrick Timoney’s “Gun”

Originally posted 8 February 2010

Paul Clarke and British Zero Tolerance

Often when I include an article about “zero tolerance” in True, I hear from people outside the United States who claim some variation of “only in America!”

Not so, of course. Some of the most outrageous examples happen in the British Commonwealth countries, including England. Such was the case this week (the 15 November 2009 edition), with this outrage:

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Originally posted 21 November 2009

Zero Tolerance and the 800-lb Gorilla

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. Wait: it had a dull, kid-appropriate knife included? Why, knives are weapons! Run in circles! Pull out your hair! Scream like a little girl!

Continue ReadingZero Tolerance and the 800-lb Gorilla

Originally posted 12 October 2009

The War on Kids

There will probably be two responses to the first story in this week’s issue: 1) I was too hard on the public library/librarian, and 2) I wasn’t hard enough on her. To be sure, my tagline was judging her based on the standards of the American Library Association.

But first the story, from True‘s 10 May 2009 issue:

Continue ReadingThe War on Kids

Originally posted 11 May 2009

Guns in America: Why?

Anytime I run a “gun story” I get a lot of comment from both hugely polarized Americans, who want to rant for or against guns, and foreign readers, who don’t understand the American “obsession” with arms. I’m going to take a stab at helping foreign readers understand it a bit better. But first, the “gun story” that prompted this essay, from True’s 15 February 2009 issue:

Continue ReadingGuns in America: Why?

Originally posted 16 February 2009

ZT v. Savana Redding: a Court Decision

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.

The family of Savana Redding, who was 13 when she was ZTd on October 8, 2003, did just that, suing the school district and school officials with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit was thrown out, but they appealed, and after two rounds got a strongly worded victory from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit — but with a shockingly thin 6-5 margin.

Continue ReadingZT v. Savana Redding: a Court Decision

Originally posted 14 July 2008

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