Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
Source: State, The (SC)
Copyright: 2001 The State
Author: Linda Campbell


I have to agree with Leonard Pitts (The State, June 4) about how stupid 
zero tolerance is and will continue to be if we as parents sit back and let 
this continue to happen. I also agree with another reader, Clarence Jones 
(Letters, June 14), that we need to start a grassroots movement that would 
end this kind of tyranny in our schools. When a criminal goes to jail and 
then to trial, he gets a hearing before a jury of his peers, not from a 
school board that does not know the child and refers to the child as a 
number on a piece of paper.

I as a parent know first-hand about how zero tolerance has ruined a child's 
life. A student who never had the first discipline problem in school now 
faces an uncertain future. This incident has cost us as parents and our 
child dearly in money as well as mental anguish.

My child made a mistake (all children do); yet the child who provided the 
opportunity for this mistake is still in school, receiving an education, 
but my child was expelled. What the children did in no way was going to 
harm any other child's life or their own; they just made a mistake.

I am so appalled to learn that we hold our children to a higher standard 
than we do our government officials; yet these officials are the ones who 
make the laws.

Zero tolerance needs to be enforced with common sense. It should fit the 
needs of our children, not those of some moronic official.

Linda Campbell
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