Pubdate: Sat, 13 Dec 2003
Source: Times, The (LA)
Copyright: 2003 The Times
Author: John Meyer


Carmel, Calif.

The Shreveport Times carried a story recently headlined: "Bossier School
Board upholds Advil expulsion." The lead for the story states: "A student
expelled from Parkway High for a year for having Advil, an over-the-counter
pain reliever, will not be allowed to return to the school."

If this story is correct, the Bossier School Board should be aware that many
of us in the rest of the country are laughing at their lack of basic common
sense. "Zero tolerance" does not imply zero judgment, zero flexibility, zero
accommodation, zero wisdom and a complete abdication of their responsibility
to temper laws with reason.

Many high schools still perform some of the plays by Gilbert & Sullivan.
Their most well known play, The Mikado, skewers harsh laws, unfairly
applied. The play revolves around the conceit of public beheading as the
punishment for flirting in public. The Mikado defends his decree that made
this the law of the land, with these immortal words:

My object all sublime

I shall achieve in time -

To let the punishment fit the crime -

The punishment fit the crime;

And make each prisoner pent

Unwillingly represent

A source of innocent merriment!

Of innocent merriment!

Congratulations on making Amanda Stiles a source of innocent merriment.
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