Folks — Here you go. This is just sort of an hors d’oeuvre (world’s hardest word to spell) for the day: Your daily dose of Zero Tolerance insanity WITH a dash of hope at the end! According
PRINCETON, N.C. — The Princeton High School community is rallying around a student who was arrested and expelled for having an unloaded shotgun in his car in the school’s parking lot.
David Cole Winthrow, 16, was charged Monday with bringing a weapon on educational property, which is a felony. He was expelled from school and won’t be allowed to graduate with his class later this month.
Family friend Kim Boykin said Winthrow, an Eagle Scout and honors student, accidentally left his gun in the car after skeet shooting over the weekend. When he realized, he went inside to ask school officials if he could leave campus to take the gun home, but an administrator reported the weapon to police.
“To have him arrested and expelled from school is excessive,” she said. “He locks his vehicle, goes inside and tries to do the right thing.”
What’s great is that Cole’s fellow students have started painting “Free Cole!” on their cars and making bumper stickers, too. What’s also great is that Cole’s parents are not saying the school administrators were wrong (though I think they were. Especially because two years ago when a LOADED GUN was found in the assistant principal’s car, he was only suspended three days without pay.) But anyway: The parents are saying that the LAW is wrong to allow no distinctions between a madman with an Uzi and a recreational skeet shooter who doesn’t bring his gun into the school.
I predict we will soon see a rash of changes to these Zero Tolerance laws as they are becoming the laughingstock of the nation — and beyond. I was just on the radio with RTE in Ireland this morning where they lap up stories like this. We look like fools. Maybe because we are. – L.
Princeton High School: Zero Tolerance for nuance!