Getting Arrested For Drawing On A Desk?

May 9, 2011  |  

by R. Asmerom

A zero tolerance policy may produce results but are they the right results?

10th grade New York city student Messiah experienced first-hand how unforgiving and unfair that kind of policy can be when he was suspended, handcuffed and arrested for drawing on a desk while sitting in science class. In an interview with CNN, the African-American high school student said that he had realized what he did was wrong, but that didn’t stop police getting involved in a matter of school policy.

Messiah described the humiliating daywhen he was called out of class and taken to the principals office. “They arrested me, and then searched through my pockets and stuff again, made me take my book bag off and then handcuffed me when I got to the precinct – they handcuffed me to the bench for a couple of hours.”

The ACLU cities this as  just one of the cases that has fueled the class action lawsuit filed last year. The ACLU says that the city police should not intervene in cases that involve school policies and which do not constitute legal crimes.
Dennis Park of the ACLU says that across the board, minorities are disproportinally affected by these policies.

The school system says it’s just trying to do what’s best for kidsand safety concerns. But what do you think? Did the severe punishment help Messiah in any way or did it just hinder his learning experience? More funds should be diverted to the actual organization and education of students rather than to punitive measures.

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