scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Eagle Scout Suspended for 'Weapons'
Conrad Shultz (shultzc@HOME.COM
Fri May 26 2000 - 18:04:21 CDT
> The "zero tolerance" policy is akin to the "we were just following orders"
> mentality and lack of accountability or responsibility for evaluating
> mitigating factors. Some administrators in the schools do not seem to want
> to make any effort toward fairness or justice unless they are forced to do
> by parents who rightfully won't tolerate inappropriate sanctions.
I saw this story on CNBC also, and was shocked, just as everyone else seems
to have been.
It's funny that the above posting was made. In most modern history classes,
one will learn that after World War II, many Nazi criminals claimed exactly
the above. That they were only following orders. This defense, I believe,
was used multiple times at the Nuremburg Tribunal, and it should be noted
that it was not successful, at least not often. Why does the puclic in
general accept this as reasoning?
I am currently enrolled in high school (Junior next year), and I know that
our district has, like so many others, a zero-tolerance policy. How well it
is enforced is another story. Honestly, if you ban pocket knives, what
about pencils, pens, and scissors? They, I think, are even more potentially
dangerous than a three and a half inch blade. It would seem that there is a
stereotype on what is a "tool" and what is a "weapon."
Most of the time, in a scandal such as this one, the tornado surrounding it
does more damage than the scandal. I know this first hand. Some of you may
have read a few weeks ago that in Corvallis, Oregon at Crescent Valley High
School, a teacher is being sued for sexual harassment of a student during a
trip to Japan. Though I never have had Mrs. Freed-Elefant for a class, I do
go to that high school, and know who she is. During the days that followed
the announcement of the suit, nothing happened in classes as everyone was
talking about the scandal. TV and newspaper reporters flocked to the
campus, occasionally entering the school and spot-interviewing a random
student. This only further amplified the distraction.
I say this because I can only imagine what is happening at the school in
Georgia right now. The incident that I just described did not make it to
national TV (I don't think), but we still had a fair amount of attention.
The Eagle Scout's story was made into a national issue. Right now, there
are probably reporters camped outside the campus and the classes are
probably getting nothing done. I may be wrong, but I doubt it. If what I
think is/will be happening is true, I bet the administrators responsible for
the suspension are thinking to themselves, "was it worth it?"
The answer is no.
Yours in Scouting,
Membership Vice-Chief, Tsisqan Lodge #253, Order of the Arrow
2001 National Jamboree Contingent Member, Oregon Trail Council