I commented at this DC thread:
Until a handful of months ago, I would have agreed with the consensus of this comment thread, that zero tolerance was a function of leftist skullduggery. My pet theory was (and to an extent, still is) that the purpose of 0T was to try to even out the race stats in school suspensions, in order to quiet the NAACP.
But then a few things happened:
One, I saw some more of these 0T-Gone-Wild news stories, and some of the things that were written and some of the things that were written between the lines made me think my initial theory wasn’t the whole story.
Second, I started a job in a business that’s a hybrid of lobbying and public relations, the lobbying part is entirely directed at Missouri state and local and county governments. I started to witness first hand the way a certain industry arrogantly throws its weight around bullying and intimidating public officials, especially Republican ones.
Now I think the real driving factor behind school districts having and fanatically enforcing 0T policies is:
Here’s how it goes:
School districts are getting discounts on their insurance policies, in exchange for districts having to implement and fanatically enforce 0T.
Watch legislation that cracks down on 0T. I predict that any such legislation will quietly be killed. Who kills it will tell the tale on whether my new pet theory or my old pet theory is right. If Republicans kill it, especially Republicans with big insurance company contributions on their campaign finance reports, then my new pet theory is right. If Democrats kill it, especially black Democrats and the legislative black caucus, then my old pet theory is right. If it’s a combination of both, then both my new and old pet theories have validity.
As an aside, Mr. Duren-Sanner appears mixed race, even though his father is white. That puts a wrench in my theory that 0T is meant to garner more white suspensions for its own sake, because this isn’t a suspension of a white student. Also, I’d like to know what a west coast commercial fisherman is doing living in Clarksville, Tennessee, and near Fort Campbell. The hyphenated surname, which both father and son have, but the grandmother (don’t know of which side) is just Duren, is also curious.
And on the same day I write this post, the Georgia State House unanimously passes a bill to eliminate 0T for knives and bats.