"Zero Tolerance" usually translates as "A Policy Invented by an Ass-covering fucktard".
Opinions, I've often been told, are like Assholes: everyone has one, they all stink, and they should never be heard in polite company.
I've also been told that Assumption is a bad thing, too, for when you assume...well, you know the rest.
Fortunately, I've never been one to agree with "Conventional Wisdom", and could give a flying whizz at a rolling donut about "Polite Society".
The intertoobies are burning today with a so-called "viral" video of an alleged 10 year old autistic boy being arrested by sheriff's deputies in Florida. I hate Florida. It's a sponge floating on top of a swamp, and when one considers the vast numbers of tropical bugs, inbred inhabitants, and potential mental patients who live within it's confines -- these are, after all, the people who couldn't achieve the relatively-easy process of voting by punching a sharp object through a flimsy piece of cardboard some 18 years ago -- it begins to look like Florida breaking off the continent and floating off into the Caribbean might be an event worth hoping for.
You can see the video here.
I watched the video. I even took some time to dig around on various news sites to get "the whole story", totally aware of the futility of such an endeavor. What I find interesting -- in that sort of detached, clinical way that a chemist who develops pesticides regards the results of his latest concoction upon a jar of carpenter ants -- is what appears to be left unsaid in all of these reports.
Which is where assumption comes in.
Let us assume that the video is relatively truthful, or representative of the entire episode. Furthermore, let us assume that the scant facts that I have been able to glean from other news sites are, indeed, factual. From what I have been able to learn, the facts (I assume) are these:
1. Six months ago, Autistic Boy assaulted one of his teachers by kicking him/her.
2. Autistic Boy was disciplined by the school.
3. An arrest warrant was issued for Autistic Boy.
The questions that go unanswered in all of this search for additional facts is....why the fuck did someone issue an arrest warrant? Why didn't anyone who handled this warrant -- including the police -- realize they were dealing with a 10-year-old with disabilities? Why didn't someone in a position of authority who oversaw any portion of this tomfoolery step in, use some brains and personal initiative, and put the kibosh on the entire thing before it wound up on the internet? And finally, why didn't anyone reporting on this fiasco ask these questions earlier?
By inference, and by that I mean I am inferring from the lack of answers to these questions, that what we have here is a bureaucratic initiative that was propelled to light speed by it's own kinetic energy, that is to say, it took on a life of it's own, because to strangle it in the crib would have been to step on some bureaucrat's toes and started a nasty, internecine battle between the Forces of Evil within government.
And the bureaucratic impetus for this farce is most-likely (based on the dearth of evidence) one of those ridiculously insane "Zero Tolerance" policies, for sure given the force of law by some legislator with serious learning disabilities of her own (it's most likely a "her", because something that leads to something this stupid most likely sprouted within the head of a creature denied a linear thought process by Nature and in possession of a vagina).
Most of us are familiar with some form of "Zero-Tolerance", so it shouldn't be necessary to explain it in detail. Suffice to say, that far from being a fair and equitable policy intended to make everyone equal when it comes to outrageous behavior, the real purpose of a Zero-Tolerance Policy is to relieve the people who must enforce it of the responsibility to do any and all of the following:
1. Investigate the circumstances of the incident
2. Make judgment calls based upon the results of that investigation
3. Remove the temptation for a bureaucrat to exercise independent judgment.
4. Relieve the people in charge of responsibility for 1, 2, and 3.
It's easier to just pronounce anathema against everyone even vaguely involved (whether they are an offender or not), and be done with it. No muss, no fuss. Everyone's happy, the bureaucrat keeps her job (it's usually a her, because men do useful things), the lawyers are kept at bay, and bad publicity is not a worry.
Until it's carried to an extreme, and then bad publicity is all you get.
Now, none of the reports I've read has mentioned a "Zero-Tolerance" policy, so this is where opinion comes in. I've seen, and experienced, enough Zero-Tolerance to recognize it when it tries to hide incognito. Like a conspiracy theorist, I'm telling you that the lack of proof for a Zero-Tolerance policy is, de facto, proof that such a policy exists, and this little bastard got caught up in it.
And besides, I visited the Florida Board of Education website and it says so right fucking here.
So, let's go back to the beginning.
* Autistic boy kicks his teacher. Autistic children are known to do this occasionally. You would think someone who teaches autistic children would know this, and consider it an occupational hazard.
* The incident is reported to school administrators. Because those are The Rulez.
*Administrators are required to report assaults to the police. By nature of being professional bureaucrats, they are fundamentally retarded, and incapable of exercising independent judgment. Should they show any indication of possessing an independent thought process, state law and BOE policy dictate they report the incident to the Police, anyway, because God Forbid "Something happens", like you get a complaint from the teacher's union, the teacher in question files a disability claim, etc. and suddenly your boss has to explain why you took it upon yourself to color outside the lines, and you get to kiss your pension goodbye.
* Some legal mumbo-jumbo takes place, involving more professional morons (bureaucrats) operating under the Zero-Tolerance directive, and a warrant is issued for 10-year-old Autistic Boy.
* The Sheriff's office executes the warrant. That's it's job. And if anyone in the Sheriff's Office began to think about what doing their jobs entailed in this case, they kept their mouths shut and their asses out of the line of fire, because bureaucrats.
* Mommy videos the entire episode, puts it online or sells it to a newspaper, gains instant sympathy from mouth-breathing doofuses (the general public), perhaps takes a few interviews in media, gaining some minor form of celebrity, and has been mystically granted the moral authority to set up (and most likely defraud) a Go Fund Me page for the little guy's "legal defense".
* The Press, which is supposed to get to the bottom of all of this, utterly fails in it's mission because the pictures are more compelling than the underlying story. Besides, the people you really need to talk to -- the fucktards who came up with the Zero-Tolerance Policy, the idiots who passed this nonsense through the various levels of The System -- are more than happy to let the Sheriff take all the bad pub, content with the thought that "we did our job", despite the fact that they did so with no intelligence, no sense of propriety, and exercised judgment of such poor quality that it's an indication that we might want to rethink giving jobs to people who are in possession of bad judgment.
So, let us assume that all of the people involved on this sordid mess, from the assaulted teacher to the poor dumbass who had to slap cuffs on a child, are all either incredibly dumb or handcuffed themselves by extraordinarily bad policy which was probably initiated as a knee-jerk response, but has apparently only found it's way into the hands of irresponsible jerks.
The "Zero-Tolerance regime" not only doesn't work, is it often unfair, but as illustrated here, it eventually becomes a monster that exposes the true stupidity of those who establish it.
(Author's note: This was updated for grammar and a spelling boo-boo).
"You All Suck" is a Featured Essay which highlights the incredible stupidity of the Human Race. Stay tuned for future installments.