Zero tolerance is not zero judgment

Published: Saturday, Jun. 21, 2014 - 8:06 am
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 23, 2014 - 9:33 am

Re "Rush to reduce suspensions doesn't aid kids." (Viewpoints, June 21): Ben Boychuk rails against "idiotic zero tolerance" policies and perpetuates the myth that these policies are responsible for the numerous examples' overreaction to minor infractions by students. This is the ill-informed view that fuels reactionary response to good faith attempts to address violence, discrimination and bullying in our schools and workplaces.

In fact, zero tolerance policies do not cause administrators to overreact. These policies merely mandate some reasonable response. When a child or worker is punished too severely for a minor offense, this is usually due to "zero judgment" by the official and a lack of training. Boychuk reflects the very ignorance that his call for more consistent discipline seems to favor.

-- John Adkisson, Sacramento

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