Justice as an ideal value is fundamentally necessary for the viability of civilizations. Each of us instinctively knows what justice is. Wrongdoing which harms another requires justice. Justice includes deserved punishment as the rightful consequence for one’s wrongful acts. It is the equivalent of fairness.
Proper justice is grounded in reason, logic, and due regard for all the circumstances – not in a rigid, inflexible, one size fits all schedule. The punishment should fit the crime. We all agree with that.
, it used to be that a kid caught with something he wasn’t supposed to have at school had it confiscated by his teacher to be returned to him at the end of the day with a stern warning not to bring it again. Kids used to bring their dad’s WWII swords and pistol souvenirs to class for show and tell while no one so much as batted an eye. America
But times have changed drastically from only a decade ago when the “War on Terror” and “zero tolerance” found their way into the American lexicon.
Zero tolerance policy is uncooked justice without the pinch of reasoning.
Draconian punishment, un-tempered by the essential elements of fairness, logic, perspective, and common sense, is the usual result.
The latest victim is an exemplary student athlete at a
high school, suspended for the remainder of her senior year, and charged with a misdemeanor for having a small paring knife in her lunchbox. She accidentally took her father's lunchbox to school; school officials searched it; found her Dad’s apple peeling utensil; banned her from campus; and then charged her criminally with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds. The incident is likely to ruin her entire academic career. North Carolina
She might have brought a baseball bat to gym class without such unpleasant consequences, though that instrument could easily be employed to bash in the heads of fellow students and teachers alike. She might have used her athletic shoelaces as a garrote to strangle one of her classmates. Her school apparently isn’t afraid of shoelaces. A pencil or ballpoint pen might be used to gouge out a few eyes, but those aren’t considered weapons either.
Indeed, she might have brought a hundred assorted “weapons,” from bobby pins to paper shears, plastic bags to nail files, without arousing the mighty omnipotent high school Authority!
She could have left the little knife at home and gone to the school kitchen for a big knife were it her intent to stab someone. Of course, we all know that it was not her intent to bring a weapon to school in the first place, and certainly not for the purpose of harming anyone. The school officials know that. The police know that. The prosecutor knows that. Anyone with half a brain knows that.
So why didn’t the education thugs just confiscate the “weapon” and return it to her at the end of the school day with a warning, as any reasonable teacher has done for centuries? Why were they even searching through her lunch box?
Zero tolerance! Absolute and unequivocal zero tolerance – that’s why. The deception in consciousness in this case is the delusional necessity for zero tolerance. To Hell with circumstances; reason doesn’t count; she broke the rule which makes us safe from terrorists in our War on Terror. She’s a potential terrorist. She must pay the price for zero tolerance. Even if we all know she isn’t a terrorist, we’re going to treat her like one anyway because terrorism is serious business since 9/11 and requires zero tolerance.
By far, the most common terrorist of them all is this mindless governmental Authority!