Yet more rule internalization

I think one of the most classic examples of rule internalization has to be zero-tolerance policies. These awful, awful things are intensely, severely popular in schools across America, and they rarely, if ever, do anything to help anyone. Anywhere. Ever. Take this example from Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, Florida:

A 14-year-old middle school student was suspended as a result of the Florida school’s strict no-hugging policy.

Nick Martinez said he hugged his best friend, a female student, quickly between classes, according to WKMG-TV, Orlando, and never thought the gesture would result in suspension. The principal at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay saw the hug and brought the two students to the dean, who issued a one-day in-school suspension.

“Honestly, I didn’t know, because I didn’t think hugging was a bad thing. I didn’t know you could get suspended for it,” Martinez told WKMG-TV. “A lot of friends are hugging. I just happened to be the one caught doing it.”

This is a result of lazy thinking. The board which came up with these policies did so in a way that demonstrates a complete lack of interest in the welfare of the children it is charged with overseeing. If they gave a damn, they would have bothered to spend 15 minutes coming up with a few distinctions. For instance, was Nick Martinez grabbing some ass? No? Oh, well, then, carry on.

Of course, like any non-thinking entity, the board has some ready-to-go excuses:

“We cannot make an opinion or judgment call on whether a hug is appropriate or not. It’s very difficult to police that on campus,” Christine Davis, the public information officer for Brevard County Public Schools, told ABC News.

No, no, no. It isn’t that they cannot make a judgement call. It’s that they are cowards who don’t dare to make judgement calls.

Davis said the school puts policies and procedures in place to help keep the students focused on learning.

Really? So taking two students out of their classes for an entire day is a focus on learning? For a school system unwilling to make simple judgement decisions, they sure are willing to make bold judgement calls of pure shit when it comes to educating children.