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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 16, 2011 / 12 Adar I, 5771

‘Zero tolerance’ criminalizing kids

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1994, Congress passed the Gun-Free Schools Act, mandating a one-year expulsion for any student bringing a firearm to school. Since then, many school districts around the nation have instituted rigid "zero tolerance" policies, providing inflexible one-size-fits-all punishments for widely diverse "offenses" even beyond the scope of the Gun-Free Schools Act.

In a recent case, at Spotsylvania High School in Virginia, 14-year-old Andrew Mikel, an honor student, active in the ROTC as well as in his church, has been expelled for the rest of the school year for violent criminal conduct and possession of a weapon.

Following the lead of the school officials, the Spotsylvania County School Board referred the ninth-grader to local law enforcement, resulting in his now being involved in juvenile criminal proceedings for assault.

Already, one result of Andrew's introduction to the criminal law system is that, having hoped to attend the U.S. Naval Academy (his father is a former Navy Seabee and Marine officer), Andrew -- so far -- can no longer qualify as an applicant.

Coming to his defense is the nation's most ceaseless, across-the-board civil libertarian, John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, Va. At a no charge, a Rutherford attorney has brought Andrew's case to the Spotsylvania Country District Court. I will report the results when issued.

And what was Andrew Mikel's alleged, heinous crime?

On Dec. 10, in the school hallway during lunch period, kidding around, he was using the body of a pen to blow "spit wads" at some of his fellow students. I remember kids doing that when I attended a Boston public school.

Finding his son being charged with violent criminal conduct, Andrew Mikel Sr., the boy's father, said: "I fought for my country and the rights of people here, and my family sacrificed right along with me. The actions of the school system completely are inconsistent with what I fought for. To come home after fighting for so long and seeing my own child being abused, I'm outraged." (Rutherford.org, Jan. 31).

I have a bulging file of "zero tolerance" punishments from sea to shining sea that have derailed the education, and lives, of students. One of those that stand out is the case of 6-year-old Zachary Christie in the Christina School District of Newark, Del. Gosh, this is what this kid did, as reported on the front page of the Oct. 12, 2009, New York Times. He took "a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch."

Having violated the school's zero-tolerance code on weapons, the child faced 40 days in the district's reform school. That sure would teach him a lesson, but about what?

This was a boy, said his mother, Debby Christie, "who wears a suit and tie some days to school because he takes school so seriously." Starting a protest website, Zachary's mother proclaimed reasonably: "He is not some sort of threat to his classmates."

Her outrage was contagious, and further protests caused the school board to hastily revise its zero-tolerance code of conduct to give the child somewhat of a reprieve. He only had to serve a suspension of three to five days.

But when zero-tolerance punishments have landed hard on other youngsters nationwide, protests -- and often there have been none -- were ineffective. Whitehead's long list of these traumatic teaching moments include "a high school sophomore who was suspended for violating the school's no-cell-phone policy after he took a call from his father, a master sergeant in the U.S. army who was serving in Iraq at the time. And in Houston, an eighth-grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school in memory of her grandmother."

Dig this: This bastion of learning had a specific zero-tolerance edict against a rosary, "which the school insists can be interpreted as a sign of gang involvement."

That must be some gang!

Ignorant of the Constitution to begin with, school officials also did not realize that this student was not in any way representing an attempt by the state of Texas to proselytize the other students. This eighth-grader was exercising her individual right to free expression of religion.

These cases are included in John Whitehead's Feb. 7 column (Rutherford.org): "Zero tolerance policies: Are the schools becoming police states?"

Well, the schools are certainly not teaching the Constitution. Tea partiers, many of whom carry the Constitution in their pockets, have a rising influence among certain Republican members of Congress -- and there are now tea partiers actually in Congress. Surely they should begin to persuade members of both parties to scrap the Gun-Free Schools Act and create new legislation narrowly focused on actual guns and violence in schools. This can bring back the Constitution back to our school kids.

And wouldn't you think that the president of this great republic, who lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago years ago, would have something to say about the baleful effect of zero tolerance on so many of this burgeoning generations of Americans?

Man up, Obama!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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