Thoughts on zero tolerance

I admit to knowing little about the details of the “zero tolerance” laws (re: carrying “dangerous” implements into our schools), but your recent editorial in the Times-Herald seems too harsh in view of the reason for the ZT laws: to prevent tragedies from occurring in our schools.

Your examples of so-called “horror stories” were (1) pocketknives or other camping gear, (2) suspicious-looking keychains, and (3) cigarette lighters. In each of these examples you suggest that these were “good kids” who just forgot to remove the item from their pockets.

When I go through the TSA at the airport, they don’t cut me any slack when I have forgotten to remove the larger-than-acceptable bottle of mouthwash from my toiletries case, and I have had a couple of pocketknives confiscated. It is, after all, my responsibility to remember to not take prohibited items. Any kid who is mature enough to be trusted with a pocket-knife is mature enough to learn not to forget where he/she can’t take it.

If your opposition to the ZT laws is based on too harsh penalties, I’ll agree that maybe these should be revised, but that is a different matter altogether. And your editorial did not give any examples of what things got 3 million students expelled, or why a quarter of them were referred to law enforcement. (Even non-violent behavior can mask a sick mind on the verge of something drastic.)

I say reform some of the consequences, and include some of the measures you list in your sixth paragraph. But don’t destroy a policy that could prevent a tragedy just because some forgetful students (and some of their parents) are inconvenienced.

Larry Repass 


More Opinion

Georgia Says

The Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, on medicinal marijuana use in the state: Dilemma: State of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring ... Read More

Do the right thing

Next week, the Newnan City Council is going to hear from a lot of people. Then the council is going to vote. And the prevailing booking odds ... Read More

Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RANT: Another Mother of the Year candidate. Meet Jasmen Nicole Hazelrigs, 22, w ... Read More

Georgia Says

The Brunswick News on the state looking to generate more taxes: The Georgia General Assembly is continuing its hunt for more tax revenue, a ... Read More

Saving our children

Within the span of two months, two infants have died under incredibly disturbing circumstances. In August, deputies with the Coweta County S ... Read More

Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: REALLY?!?: The “Georgia Music Farm,” located on a tract of property ... Read More