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“Zero Tolerance” Punishes Imaginative Kids

outloudminuteThe Nationally Syndicated Out Loud Minute: 

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A 5 year old Pennsylvania student does a bang-bang with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. A 5-year-old Massachusetts boy makes a gun out of Legos, and a 6-year-old Maryland boy pretends his fingers are a gun during a playground game of cops and robbers.

The question is… are these just kids with active imaginations, or potential threats to school safety?

Children are being suspended due to their over active imaginations as a “zero tolerance” policy is enforced. Parents contend administrators are projecting adult fears onto children who pose no threat whatsoever. One mother whose daughter was suspended said, “They’re treating them as mini-adults, making them grow up too fast, and robbing them of their imaginations.”

A 1994 federal law, along with state and local zero tolerance policies authorize school administrators the flexibility to tailor punishments to fit the crime. Problem is there is no crime being committed.

There’s no question that the Sandy Hook tragedy weighs heavily on everyones mind, however the “zero tolerance” policy makes “zero sense” as it punishes kids for being kids!

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