Teach These Kids a Lesson

Helen Whalen Cohen
Posted: Feb 18, 2011 1:00 PM
Nat Hentoff has a great article out about zero-tolerance policies run amok. After Congress passed the Gun-Free Schools Act in 1994, several public schools instituted these policies.

Hentoff mentions several examples of children who became criminals as the result of 'zero tolerance'.

One is Andrew Mikel, a 14 year old honor student who is active in ROTC and attends church. After using a pen to blow 'spit wads', Andrew was expelled for possession of a weapon. He was hoping to follow his father's footsteps and attend the Naval Academy, but this charge has foreclosed that opportunity.

Another was 6 year old Zachary Christie, who was charged after bringing a camping utensil to school. According to the report, "he was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch."

Is there any point to turning these children into criminals?