More to the story on the Nerf “Gun” incident in Houston County, Georgia, which put us in the national spotlight? Maybe. To be fair, which I try to do, the BOE may have their hands tied by student confidentiality. And maybe it wasn’t a gun issue, but a “you know better than that” issue. And maybe they got thrown under the bus by the family of the young man at issue. A Georgia Bar rule says something to this effect: You can’t try to publicize your case to gain an unfair advantage, but you do get to respond if the other side publicizes their position. I bet BOE’s have the same privilege.
Regardless, I don’t back down from my opposition to this “anti-gun” bias that pervades our country’s schools. It wasn’t that long ago that firearm safety was taught in school. Now you can get thrown out of school for having something that maybe looks like a foam play gun. Zero tolerance is the excuse handed out when dumb decisions are made.
Zero Tolerance (ZT) is a disease. It infects the weak minded, those unable to discern the difference between bad intent and “oops, I forgot this was in my truck.” ZT has run rampant in our schools particularly, but even in our society. ZT means you can’t tell a joke about anybody but blondes. ZT means that you can’t have an opinion outside of socially accepted conventional wisdom. ZT means that your personally held beliefs must change this week because the newly minted “cause celebre” demands it to be so. ZT is spread by apathy, it lives based on our fears of being shunned for speaking out, and it festers to the point that foam darts are an expellable offense but abortion pills are handed out in the nurse’s office.
We give our educators our children, lots and lots of money ($225 million in Houston County, $1.005 trillion nationally), and we keep loading up on academicians in central office presumably because they know something. Then we tie their hands with ZT and wonder why idiotic policies are in place.
I say that it is time to fight ZT, but not halfway. When something is wrong, we should stand up to it. Good news! I don’t care which side of the particular argument you fall on, just speak up for right and wrong. Stop letting the vocal minority have their way because you are afraid of ZT zealots who will defame and disparage you. Together we are stronger than ZT.