scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Zero Tolerance Policies
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Tue Mar 21 2000 - 02:04:32 CST
Sorry folks, this is one of those subjects I just can't leave alone.
<Cheri Mertins wrote>
It isn't always the child who owns the knife that is the problem. He may be
able to handle a pocket knife, but he is also just as able to lose his knife
and the wrong child find it. The schools put in those Zero Tolerance
policies because it sometimes takes that to make a parent listen.
Unfortunately, it usually isn't that child that has to suffer the
The unfortunate thing is that the zero-tolerance policies don't effect the
parents the way they do on students. A zero-tolerance policy wouldn't have
prevented the situation you described. It wouldn't have solved the problem
either. The RULE exists because, in the wrong hands, a knife can be very
dangerous. The policy exists so time and effort won't be wasted evaluating
the situation and determining the punishment.
As a Pack, there is no punishment that we can dole out to this scout, he
crossed over. BUT, the Troop was there and witnessed this event. The
Scoutmaster said they would deal with this in the Troop. Don't know what
they will do, but I am sure the Scout has started off on the wrong foot with
If it were me, I know what I would do, but the Scout wouldn't be "starting
out on the wrong foot." It's unfortunate that a situation like this had to
happen, but look closely at it. Who broke the rule? Yes, the Scout carried a
knife without his Totin' Chip. But Dad said he could. The Scout bears some
responsibility for not safeguarding the knife, but you can't fault him
completely. Your example illustrates why we have zero-tolerance policies
though. In this case, apparently Dad didn't think the rule should apply to
his son. Dad is an authority figure (and not just for his son).
AJ Mako, Scoutmaster, Troop 381 http://www.scouts381.org/
Great Trail Council, Old Portage District