Readers — The young man below, Kyle, age 14, had a piece of paper in his notebook that a friend yanked out, labeled “Hit List.” It was not a serious list, he says, and he and his teacher had a joking tug of war over it. Strangely, it was the tug of war rather than the “Hit List” idea that sent irnkkdrrib
Kyle into the Kafka-esque zone where Zero Tolerance meets policy meets police. He was clapped into handcuffs and suspended for for 180 days, not just from his school but from any public school in his state. He is effectively under house arrest.
As the ACLU (which made this video) notes: “Sadly, Kyle’s story is not unique. Countless young students are treated the same—and even worse—because of a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to school discipline that is spreading across the U.S. It takes kids out of the education system and funnels them into the criminal justice system because of a single, small infraction. There, they can look forward to a life of neglect and lost opportunity, as it can be impossible to find new schools or attend college once their records are tainted.”
Race is a factor, too, says the ACLU: “…because of documented bias in the application of justice, these policies often hit students of color the hardest.”
If you’d like to sign a petition, there’s one here. I signed it. – L.