Zero-Tolerance, Zero Sense?

The good intentions of bolstering school safety that created the zero-tolerance system of automatic suspensions and expulsions for certain behavior are increasingly evaporating across the United States.
The latest reason why? A kindergartner in Pennsylvania was suspended for 10 days (later reduced to two days), required to undergo a psychological examination, and left with a permanent entry on her record.
Her troublesome behavior? School officials say that the kindergartner made a terroristic threat.
That threat? The girl’s suggestion that she and a friend play with her toy bubble gun after school.
To be clear, her “toy bubble gun” is a pink device that blows bubbles into the air.

School officials haven’t yet commented on the five-year-old’s case.

The post above is reprinted with permission from the blog of Right on Crime, a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a research institute in Austin, TX.

Jeanette Moll is a juvenile justice policy analyst in the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Prior to joining TPPF, she served as a legislative aide in the Wisconsin Legislature, where she dealt with various policy issues, media affairs, and constituent outreach. Moll earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then earned a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served on the board of the Texas Review of Litigation and interned with a federal bankruptcy judge, a Texas appellate court judge, and a central Texas law office.
*Photo at top by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Updated: February 11 2013