Zero tolerance?

“Zero tolerance has been a huge mistake.

“Here’s a political slogan I’d get behind, “Zero tolerance for zero tolerance.”

“For decades, political leaders have embraced zero-tolerance policies “as a response to all social ills: crime, drugs, sexual violations – even misbehaving schoolchildren”. In every case, the indiscriminate rigidity of this “deeply misguided approach” has backfired. Thanks to zero-tolerance sentencing policies on crime and drugs, our prisons are filled with minor offenders and addicts, and 70 million Americans – a disproportionate number of them minorities – have a criminal record. In Texas, schools with zero-tolerance policies have suspended more than a thousand children for making “terroristic threats” – including using their fingers to pretend they’re shooting a gun. Sex-offender registries that were created to stop monstrous serial predators now contain as many as 900,000 people, including, for example, an 18-year-old who asked a 15-year-old for sex.

“More recently, of course, President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” crackdown on immigration left thousands of migrant children cruelly separated from their parents. Time after time, these attempts at “cleansing society” end up punishing “the harmless and the innocent”. Our leaders need to learn that “tolerance” isn’t a dirty word.” (Emily Yoffe, The New York Times).

My comment: For HeaVen’s sake – we were playing cops and robbers 75 years ago in the playground! Not a single one of my contemporaries went on to shoot others with handguns! It’s a game, stupid! Punishing kids for make-believe is more likely to turn them anti-social than just, yes, tolerating it, just as generations of intelligent adults have done for centuries. What has happened to “judgment”? As for separating children from their parents…… words fail me.

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