By Tom Rhodes, 3/5/2014
By now you’ve read a zillion stories about the absurdity of zero tolerance enforcement in our schools. Kids being suspended for pop-tart eaten into gun shapes, kids suspended or expelled for accidentally bringing a squirt gun to school, kids being suspended or expelled for Nerf guns, kids suspended or expelled for shooting a completely imaginary ‘bow and arrow’, and so forth. The latest is a boy suspended for 3 days for using his finger as an imaginary gun.
Bill Bush of The Columbus Dispatch wrote about the latest idiocy on March 4, 2014 in an article titled “Boy points finger like gun, gets suspended.” If you’ve read about any of the many other idiotic extremes in “zero tolerance” so you know the story. The quote from the principle gives us a hint about the true reason for statist zero tolerance rules in school. “The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” Warner said. “It’s just been escalating.” Warnings included three newsletters sent home with kids, he said. More interesting and illuminating is reading the comments. It gives away the real reasoning behind Zero Tolerance rules and these absurd punishments for innocent behavior.
The reason for both an baseless rule and excessive punishment for violating the baseless rule is simple and Machiavellian. Think about the absurdity of suspending a 10 yr old boy for 3 days on a “weapons violation” for pointing his finger and saying “bang!” The purpose has nothing to do with “guns” it has everything to do with conditioning people to obey “laws” regardless of how absurd the law is or expect draconian disproportionate punishment. The idea being that you a mere individual has cannot conceive of how important any law is and must be indoctrinated to accept without question all rules/laws/dictates and obey or be made an example to others.
Guns are scary to liberals, so they use the fear of real guns to justify idiotic baseless rules that can be used to train kids to be obedient to the state. The idea that parents should take the time to stress to their kids how important it is to obey the state regardless of what rule the state creates. The boy, Nathan, when asked about his suspension said, “I was thinking it was dumb.” A 10 yr old knows that pretending his finger is a gun in a playground game isn’t going to hurt anybody and is not dangerous. The reality is that the state has sent out warnings and newsletters and repeated threats go garner compliance with a rule pretending to use a tool that is constitutionally protected. Now it has made good on the threat and without due process the boy has been suspended.
State Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, proposed legislation that would overturn a 1998 state law requiring schools to adopt zero-tolerance policies. Oh they will have hearings and make like they are considering it but it will never be allowed to get voted on, much less pass. It goes against the strength and supremacy of the state. What zero tolerance and it’s abusive implementation does does is teach children that the state can create any rules it wants no matter how absurd, and punish you for totally innocent behavior which harms nobody, and that no rationally authority, like your parents, can do anything to protect you from the arbitrary punishment of the state.
“The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” and then saw or suffered real disproportionate consequences; this is conditioning. That way in the future when the state says “quit criticizing the state or there will be consequences” or some other clearly irrational and unconstitutional “rule”, those same kids will obey rather than suffer the consequences.
What’s happened in Connecticut, where a couple hundred thousand people simply ignored the dictates of the state to register their arms, is the problem. The idea that common people would simply ignore the state is what the state is trying to address through zero tolerance in schools. Train children that no matter what, non-compliance is worse than suffering tyranny. Common Core, is part of that, common indoctrination of state supremacy is the goal. Zero Tolerance for obviously innocent behavior is not designed because the state is afraid of a pop tart eaten into the shape of a gun, it’s there as a tool to indoctrinate obedience to the state.