Zero tolerance 

Salon.com collects a bunch of stories about kids and families whose lives have been ruined because of post-Columbine "zero tolerance" measures.

I'm not sure I'd call it an epidemic yet, though. Still, it does seem rather dumb to deprive school officials of the ability to use their judgment in dealing with these cases. I remember when I was a junior in high school, there was a kid in one class who sat next to me. He was kind of a goofball and the teacher, Mr. Smith, was a Vietnam vet who didn't tolerate nonsense but still had a sense of humor. Anyway, this kid would sing to himself over and over the words "Smith-dogg will be dead / I will put a bullet through his head", to the tune of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man", and Mr. Smith would just laugh at him. I imagine this kind of stuff doesn't happen at school these days.


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