Friday, April 25, 2008

Minnesota School Officials "At Swords" with Rationality

Among the most irrational features of the Nanny State is the extremity of its "zero tolerance" policies involving school kids and weapons. Sure, the system has to be tuned in to students carrying guns, switchblades, and explosives. But administrators have gone bonkers in recent years in stretching "zero tolerance" far beyond what is fair, manageable and even legal.

The latest case in point? Two Minnesota high school students who bought souvenir swords during a spring break choir trip in the United Kingdom were expelled for the remainder of the school year! This though the swords never made it out of the store.

It seems a meddling chaperone noticed the duct-taped boxes containing the swords after the students left the souvenir shop. The gifts were confiscated on the trip (never making it to Minnesota, by the way), and the two innocent kids were punished by being shipped home early.

But not punished enough. For when they got home, they were informed of their expulsion for the entire year.

The father of one of the students (his now-expelled son is a choir member, Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout leader) told the Pioneer Press, "The severity of the punishment didn't fit the crime here. There was no intent of violence. What got him in trouble was being lost in the moment and buying a cool souvenir for his room. It wasn't like he was buying an M-16."

The other student, a senior, was not only expelled for purchasing the 18-inch "Lord of the Rings" replica sword (intended as a Father's Day present for her Dad), but officials initially informed her she would not be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies. School officials eventually relented on the latter point.