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30 December 2009

"Zero Tolerance To Some School Systems Means Zero Common Sense"

Over the years, Georgia has seen its fair share of nonsensical cases where local school systems have decided to exercise zero tolerance and no common sense after finding a student in possession of a so-called weapon.

State Senator Emanuel Jones (D - Decatur) aims to change that with Senate Bill 299.

Sen. Jones has introduced legislation to remove the "zero" from the Zero Tolerance policy, in order to give local schools the authority to handle, on their own, any minor, so-called "weapons possession" cases. Schools wouldn't be required to call police, and wouldn't be required to suspend a student, and wouldn't be required to lock up a child in juvenile detention. But they still could -- if they decided it was appropriate.

"It gives flexibility to the school system to exercise more common sense in adjudicating these types of cases," Jones said. "It gives the school system some discretion in these minor cases, these minor infractions, where they don't have to involve the legal authorities."

Shirek, Jon (2009-12-30). State Senator: End School 'Zero Tolerance' Weapons Policy. WXIA-TV. Retrieved on 2009-12-30.

SB299 is one of those rare bills that should just breeze through the legislative process. There is absolutely no sense in suspended an elementary school student for ten days simply because a "Tweety Bird" keychain may be considered a weapon [Rodriguez, Yolanda (2000-9-28). Girl suspended 2 weeks for Tweety Bird chain. The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved on 2009-12-30.].