To Florida schools. From Tallahassee.com, Editorial: It makes sense
Law will force another look at zero-tolerance
Amid the flurry of bills Gov. Crist has signed into law in recent weeks, one got the governor’s John Hancock with little fanfare. It should have been publicly heralded as the return of common sense.
In fact, SB 1540, which requires school boards to revisit their zero-tolerance policies, was lauded by the governor as just that. With support from Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice and law-enforcement agencies throughout the state, the measure is touted as a means of reducing the number of juveniles who are needlessly thrust into the system because of minor infractions — most commonly, petty disobedience.
Consider cases from several headlines: In March, a Lakeland boy was suspended from school for intentionally passing gas on a school bus. In Hernando County, an 11-year-old girl was suspended for bringing a plastic butter knife to school. A student in Brandon was suspended because a calculator he brought to school was equipped with a “knife-like object.”
In too many cases, it had become clear that the state-sanctioned zero-tolerance policy was being abused by school districts to dump children into the juvenile-justice system rather than finding acceptable ways to deal with minor cases of acting out or acting up.
Much more at the link.