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!)
Continue ReadingPodcast 010: Zero Tolerance
Originally posted 7 September 2017
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
Another story that really needs the photo to be complete. First, the story, from True‘s 15 December 2013 issue:
Continue Reading“At Some Point Doesn’t Common Sense Prevail?”
Originally posted 16 December 2013
Two stories this week will, I think, generate some comments from readers. One has a zero tolerance theme, and the other is a minor political scandal. They’re both from True‘s 19 February 2012 issue.
Continue ReadingTwo Tiny Scandals
Originally posted 20 February 2012
When I run a string of zero tolerance stories, readers typically respond, “What should we do about this?” What I don’t want you to do is emailbomb the school officials or school boards involved.
But first, let’s recap several of this week’s ZT stories (from the 1 January 2012 issue):
Continue ReadingZero Tolerance: Alive and Well
Originally posted 2 January 2012
There always has to be at least one idiot in the crowd. The people who fight against the fight against zero tolerance and zero thought, and create more problems for victims — like the girl I told you about last week who was raped at school.
Continue ReadingFighting the Good Guys
Originally posted 6 December 2010
Yet another astounding story from the front lines — our nation’s schools.
From True‘s 28 November 2010 issue:
Continue ReadingThe Opposite of Zero Tolerance
Originally posted 3 December 2010
A story from last week brought two very interesting reactions from Premium readers (the story wasn’t in the free edition).
So, first, here’s the story, from True‘s 8 August 2010 issue:
Continue ReadingIs This Zero Tolerance?
Originally posted 16 August 2010
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.
Continue Reading1984 in 2010: a ZT Influence
Originally posted 22 February 2010
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
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:
Continue ReadingPaul Clarke and British Zero Tolerance
Originally posted 21 November 2009
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
I’ve long railed against Zero Tolerance in True, with the first such story appearing way back in 1995. And there have been plenty more since.
Continue ReadingAnother ZT Success Story
Originally posted 21 September 2009
The first story in True about “zero tolerance” appeared in June, 1995, and I started railing about the concept soon after. It took more than a decade before I starting noticing other columnists editorializing against ZT.
Continue ReadingZero Tolerance Thwarted by Common Sense
Originally posted 19 June 2009
Some readers will be a bit puzzled why I would spread this message in my blog: “Do not, under any circumstances, be interviewed by the police without advice from a lawyer.” You have a right to remain silent, and I urge you to exercise that right. Especially if you are innocent.
Continue ReadingDon’t Talk to the Cops
Originally posted 5 June 2009
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
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
Zero Tolerance is insidious. An abdication of common sense and professional ethics, in schools it seeks to apply one punishment — suspension, usually leading to expulsion — to any level of “crime”.
Continue ReadingZero Tolerance Trick, No Treat
Originally posted 14 November 2008
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
Episode #3: Visionary. From True’s 22 June 2008 issue.
Continue ReadingWeird News Video #3 — Visionary
Originally posted 22 June 2008