June 04, 2002
The “Zero-Tolerance Watch” usually highlights some ridiculous reaction to harmless student behavior, like a first-grader being issued a lengthy suspension for pointing his finger like a gun. Yesterday’s edition seemed a little…more tolerant than usual.
A freshman at Rhode Island's Cumberland High School says he was only joking when he drew "flaming sticks, the word 'bomb,' and the words 'CHS will pay,' " the Providence Journal reports. It hardly needs saying that school officials wildly overreacted. They suspended the unnamed boy for 10 days and evacuated the school while police searched it and had the youngster arrested. He was arraigned on disorderly-conduct charges and could spend up to six months in "the state Training School." "It's not just a case of a kid doodling a picture of a bomb," Detective Sgt. Albert Skeldon tells the Journal. "This was specific."Am I wrong here, or does this not seem like such a wild overreaction? This isn’t some seven-year-old pushing another kid, this is a high-schooler submitting what appears to be a school-threatening note; a two-week suspension with further investigation seems about right to me.
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