The zero tolerance policy most familiar to the public is the “gun free” school zone, which for some produces feelings of safety. Unfortunately, like all zero tolerance polices, this is a complete failure, actually encouraging attacks rather than enhancing safety. Those who need to “feel safe” cannot admit this obvious reality lest their belief system come crashing down, so they redouble their efforts, striking out at even imaginary threats and guns.
Understanding this sort of thinking, it is easy to realize that such people think nothing of applying a zero tolerance policy prohibiting actual firearms to not only toys bearing a slight resemblance to firearms, but to depictions of firearms and even imaginary weapons. Thus have elementary-aged children been punished for pointing fingers at each other and fighting imaginary heroic battles for mankind. Thus is childhood warped and wrenched from children.
Some of these bizarre incidents are the direct result of human confusion or incompetence. School systems have multiple levels of management that theoretically can avoid abuses in student discipline. Take the case of the five year-old girl who dared think of blowing bubbles on her friend and herself. Even if her teacher could not tell the difference between a Hello Kitty bubble gun — a toy the girl left at home — and a real weapon, and even if she could not tell the difference between five year olds playing and a threat of serious bodily harm or death, what’s the principal’s excuse? What’s the excuse of the assistant superintendent and the superintendent and the members of the school board?