Thursday, June 23, 2005

Zero Tolerance, Zero Intelligence

I just found a terrific blogsite called "Zero Intelligence." Its mission is to highlight and bring to public attention absurd (but all too real and all too common) examples of school districts' exercising "zero tolerance" policies with regard to alcoholic beverage consumption, "weapons", and unwanted speech.

Asking "What is Zero Intelligence about?," the site answers:

Zero Intelligence is a play on "Zero Tolerance", the knee jerk reactionary policies that plague our school systems. The implementation of a zero tolerance policy is the equivalent of giving up on common sense, reasonability and intellect. All infractions are grouped into types with uniform punishments regardless of the individual facts of the incident. Posession of Advil is treated as if it were equivalent to pushing crack. An honor student with the wrong type of pencil sharpener is punished the same as a known delinquent with a switchblade would be. Improper use of an inhaler leads to arrest as assault with a weapon. It is easy to see why we call these "Zero Intelligence Policies".

The most frightening part of the above paragraph is that all of the examples cited are real. They are not hyperbole or fiction for effect. They all actually happened in various school systems in the United States. These and countless other incidents show just how badly zero tolerance policies fail our children.

  • This is a group website dedicated to keeping an eye on, and pointing out the excesses of, bad school policies and actions. We will keep a particular focus on zero tolerance policies but will also report on abuses outside of these.
  • We will hold these policies up for discussion when possible and ridicule when deserved.
  • We do not in any way suggest an abrogation of rules and regulations, only that the punishment should fit the crime and that each incident should be evaluated on its own merits.
  • This is a fairly partisan site and the contributors share a genuine abhorrence for the subject policies but we are always interested in hearing opposing views. Vitriol and defamation will not be tolerated in posts or comments.
  • Discussion is always encouraged. To this end we have installed a subscription plug-in for comments on the site. Although not as effective as a discussion forum, this will allow readers to be informed when comments are posted to items they wish to follow.
  • When possible and practical we will give space for rebuttal from the school systems that we report on.
  • We reserve the right to use any material that is sent to as quoted content on this website.

I say, more power to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have run into a great deal of "zero intelligence" here in the Old Dominion. It's good to see that someone else recognizes it for what it is. Keep up the good work.