No Tolerance Laws Show Some Flexibility

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

A 17-year-old Aurora student faced expulsion Friday for accidentally bring a fake rifle to school. A rifle she used in her young marines drill team but bringing a fake weapon to school violates the zero tolerance policy. "State law is pretty clear about what is a mandatory expulsion or mandatory suspension,"says, Jeff Kirtland with School District 51.

Kirtland says anything from alcohol to drugs to dangerous weapons fits under these rules, rules that parents agree need to be enforced.
Mother of two high school aged girls Nancy Cale, says, "I think you have to start with some guide lines, for administrators to go by."

But should all violations be treated equal? And all expulsions be the same?
Cathy Clark says in some cases it will help. "It would maybe help in the long run, in their lives, you know, they've got to have some rules."
Her son Mickey agrees but thinks there should be some leeway, "Accidentally, I think they should be suspended and it look over."

But just like you learned in school, there's always is an exception to the rule. Cale says, "You know there are laws, then there's differently ruling on laws and that's just the way we are." And that's how district 51 administrators say they handle things.

Kirtland says, "There may be circumstances where the period of time involved in that might vary depending on the severity of the action its all based on the individual circumstances."

Leaving the no tolerance line, just that a line. "You draw the line but the line doesn't mean it can't be moved," says Cale.

That student, 17-year-old student Marie Morrow found out Friday that she will be allowed back to school on Wednesday, instead of facing the one year suspension recommended by the state for a no tolerance violation.


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