Thursday, May 20, 2004
Zero-tolerance madness: I've long been opposed to the so-called "zero-tolerance" rules instituted at most of this nation's public schools because it takes common sense out of the equation.
Today's case in point comes from Fort Worth, Texas:
A wooden baseball bat, no longer than 8 inches and visible through a car window, spurred Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School officials to call sophomore Cory Henson out of class Monday so they could search his vehicle.
Under the Fort Worth school district's zero-tolerance policy, Henson was immediately suspended, pending a conference with administrators Thursday. Officials will decide whether the bat is considered a weapon that would merit punishment, including placement in an alternative school or expulsion for up to a year. It was described as no bigger than the souvenir bats available at professional ballgames.
So, a small stick of wood is considered a weapon worth of suspending a kid over? Wait, it gets better.
Sheila Henson said her son never gets in trouble. The 16-year-old plays junior varsity baseball at the school. Because of his suspension, he was not able to attend the end-of-the-year sports banquet this week.
"Why did it have to go to that level?" she asked.
What's more confounding to Henson is that it was the small bat, and not the full-sized aluminum bat that was in the trunk with other baseball equipment, that was confiscated as a weapon.
Definitive proof -- it is possible to fail an I.Q. test.