Sunday, November 11, 2007

Raising our kids to be sheep

One of the side-effects of the utterly moronic "Zero Tolerance" policies of many schools and governments is that it is teaching our kids to be sheep, devoid of moral sense or an understanding of consequences. What else did we expect to happen when we teach our children that taking a butter knife to school is as worthy of punishment as taking a shotgun?

From Berkeley County, Amber Dauge was expelled from school for accidentally taking a butter knife to school:

"I know I made a really stupid decision but I don't think I should be expelled for it," Amber Dauge said.

Amber says that stupid decision was taking a butter knife to school. She ran out of the house to meet the bus while making a sandwich, when she realized she had the knife. She put it in her bookbag, then she put it in her locker at Goose Creek High school. She forgot it was there until a few weeks later when the knife fell out of her overstuffed locker.

"A kid behind me yelled out a comment that I was going to stab someone with the knife and everyone started laughing and the teacher saw it," Amber told us.

You got that everybody? Taking a butter knife to school is "a really stupid decision".

(Putting aside that it was hardly a decision as such, just a spur of the moment thing.)


Voting for a political party that plans to strip you of your legal protections is "a really stupid decision". Taking a third mortgage on your house to buy shares in a company selling paper clips on the Internet is "a really stupid decision". Putting weed killer in a Coca-Cola bottle and then storing it in the kitchen is "a really stupid decision". Using a lit match to look inside your car's petrol tank is "a really stupid decision".

Kicking kids out of school, destroying their chances of getting educated and condemning them to a life as an angry, bitter second-class citizen is "a really stupid decision".

Taking a butter knife to school is so trivial it doesn't even show up on the radar. As sins go, taking a butter knife to school is up there with such heinous crimes as scratching your ear or eating a boiled egg on Tuesdays.

Supporters of Zero Tolerance actually consider the injustice it results in as a plus. The so-called reasoning behind that is that because the rule is inflexible, those at risk of breaking the law are forced to take even unreasonable steps to avoid breaking the rule.

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy talk. This puts obedience to the law above the consequences of the law. It is no virtue to obey bad laws, although it may be the path of least resistance. Any law that requires unreasonable steps to avoid breaking it is an unreasonable law, and an unreasonable law is unjust and therefore a bad law.

Some might argue that if the consequences of the act are sufficiently terrible, then unreasonable steps to avoid it might be needed; but that's simply stupid. By definition, if the steps required to avoid breaking the law are unreasonable, either they cause more harm than breaking the law, or they are impossible or impractical to do. Otherwise they would be reasonable!

If obeying the law causes more harm than the thing it is trying to prevent, then we would be better off without the law (it's a bad law); and if it is impractical or impossible to obey the law, then no matter how much you punish people the law will still be broken. A law that can't be obeyed is also a bad law, because we're better off without it: we'd still suffer the consequences of the bad actions, but we'd avoid the needless and pointless punishments. Whipping a baby for wetting itself doesn't stop it wetting itself, and it harms the baby for no good reason. Needless to say, not only are bad laws useless, they can even be counter-productive: people can be driven into socially harmful behaviour.

Whether they are Politically Correct liberals, or conservative god-botherers like "Louisa" who wrote:

I think the School did the right thing the school's laws were made to be obeyed by all students. If the school was to compromise for one, {after all even a butter knife could kill someone}then the next incident? the student would expect the same. Compromise is not the answer. God Is!

they're all moral midgets who shouldn't be trusted with deciding what underwear they wear, let alone something important like the education of our children.

    "Zero Tolerance" in this case meaning "We're too stupid to be able to apply conscious thought on a case-by-case basis". -- Mike Sphar

1 comment:

Terry Wright said...

Compromise is not the answer. God Is!

This has made my day ... :)
They get whackier every year.