Tag Archives: Zero Tolerance

Why do Texas Middle Schools hate Asthmatic kids?

Two weeks ago a Texas middle-schooler was suspended and sentenced to 30 days of alternative school for sharing her inhaler with a fellow student who was having an asthma attack.  Both girls have been charged with “sharing a controlled substance”, and both face this stiff “automatic” punishment.  Both girls’ parents are concerned with alternative school because their daughter would be with those kids that have real drug and violence problems.  Alternative school is legislatively mandated in Texas for kids who have been asked to leave the classroom for such reasons as drug use, violence toward teachers or students, sexual offenses.  Here’s the whole scoop.

Then this week, another Texas middle-schooler was suspended for using a profanity and leaving the classroom.  Important note: he left the classroom to carry a classmate to the nurse’s office.  The classmate was suffering an asthma attack, and had passed out and had fallen out of her chair.  The teacher was waiting on an email back from the nurse before acting on the situation.  Story here.

“We ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse.” – Suspended Student

Hello? Have we lost all ability to reason?  If my kid falls out of her chair while having an obvious asthma attack, you’re telling me you will sit your ass down and wait for an email back from the nurse before sending her to get medical attention? Is that standard policy?  Any word of whether this is standard protocol?  Teacher discipline? Common sense police citation? Jeez, people, zero tolerance policies continue to make educational institutions silly and sometimes dangerous places.

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Dyslexic Girl Suspended for Writing Essay About Gnu

Boston, MA – Sixth-grader Elizabeth Harmon was suspended from the Jarvis Herman Middle School last week, after she authored an MCAS practice essay about her favorite gun.  Administrators at the school cite a zero tolerance policy toward speaking, writing, drawing, gesturing, and otherwise suggesting firearms or other threatening subjects.  Elizabeth’s parents, John and Susan Harmon were shocked to learn that their daughter was suspended for three days, especially since she suffers from severe dyslexia, a learning disability that impairs the ability to read, often accompanied by written letter reversal and mirror writing.  Elizabeth had actually written about her favorite gnu – named Mossberg – which she visits at her uncle’s farm in Western Massachusetts. After the Harmons contacted the school about the mix-up, administrators continued to stand by their suspension decision  because of the emotional harm and disturbing images suggested to the teacher correcting the essay, regardless of the student’s intent. The as-yet unidentified teacher is currently on leave as she recovers from the essay ordeal.   Additionally, Principal Joseph Muggers suggested that “the proper name for such an animal is “wildebeest”, which is completely non-threatening no matter how you spell it”. Principal Muggers offered no additional comments.  Mr. and Mrs. Harmon intend to continue to fight the suspension, and are considering bringing suit against the school.