scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Zero Tolerance
Mon Mar 20 2000 - 08:57:03 CST
Where do you draw the line and say that this infraction of the rule against
carrying knives to school is okay, this infraction gets a one day suspension
this infraction gets expelled?
This used to come under the heading of discretion, wisdom and trust and
faith. That is, we gave school administrators the discretion to deal with
certain problems. We appointed them because of their wisdom, and we trusted
them (and had faith in them) to use that wisdom. Today we wish to second
guess them. And as a result we have these no-brainer "zero tolerance" rules.
It is my belief that we have become a society that substitutes data for
wisdom. We have created entire industries ("information technology") to
accumulate and sort data, but we denigrate or ignore the learning that
fosters or creates wisdom: the "great books", old dead european men's books,
etc. Zero tolerance is a "data" system. It is identical to the old computer
saw: GIGO, garbage in garbage out. It relies on a mere incident to trigger
a response. There is no analysis, no discretion, no wisdom, no
understanding. It remains to be seen if it will prevent law suits. It is
certain that it does not foster justice.
But, then, as many others have pointed out, these are just my thoughts, and I
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet