‘Zero Tolerance’ School Rules Lack Common Sense: Georgia Paper


The Savannah Morning News says Georgia’s zero tolerance policies for school violations “allow for zero common sense. Where there is obviously no malicious intent, the punishment should fit the crime.” In an editorial, the paper continued, “Georgia must make it clear that bringing a weapon onto school property jeopardizes public safety. Sadly, we live in a world where neighborhood violence can bleed into neighborhood schools, and where crazed young people have spawned tragedies on campuses. Schools must be safe zones. But that doesn’t mean all offenses are alike.”

Recently, a 14-year-old Georgia student who voluntarily turned in a pocketknife to his principal was was arrested and forced to spend the night in a youth detention center before receiving a hearing. The editorial says, “Protecting students in a post-Columbine world is serious business, so it’s important for school administrators to do all they can to keep weapons off of school campuses. But it is also important for the state to have mechanisms to inject some common sense into the procedure before a student faces long-term suspension for an innocuous slip-up.”

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