scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: A pocket knife is a weapon...
Jim Miller Sr. (jjmsr@LSFCU.ORG
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 12:38:13 CST
Once upon a time in this fair land of ours, we believed that a person
was innocent until proven guilty. Zero tolerance policies are contrary
to this in that that presume guilt by association - not association with
a person, but with an object - the pocket knife. "Knives can be used to
kill; therefore, if you have a knife it is your intent to kill."
Once we upon a time we believed that the "punishment" should fit the
"crime." Zero tolerance policies preclude any ability to judge the
severity of the crime and met out a just punishment.
Once upon a time our school systems treated our children as unique
individuals. Zero tolerance policies, and twisted interpretations of
"fairness" have turned those same children into pure statistics to be
fed into one end of the educational machine and spit out the other,
unless of course we spit them out in the middle for violating the zero
We can ban all the pocket knives and peanut butter and every other
"dangerous" thing in the world from our schools, but we cannot keep our
children in a perfectly "safe" cocoon all through their youth and expect
them to cope with the real world and its dangers as adults.
Jim Miller, Sr.
Northern New Jersey Council