Eagle Scout Suspended
for having a tiny pocketknife in his car parked on school property.Cub Scout Suspended
for eating lunch with his pocketknife-fork-spoon.
Zero-tolerance policies are all the rage. The problem with "zero" is that there is no leeway and no way to use the brain God gave you with which to think. Policies set up with absolutes often cause a mess.
These two scouts didn't follow the rules and they both understand that. But, one minute of talking to the 'offenders' and any sane person could tell there was no danger to others posed here - anyway, no more than from the pencils, pens, backpack straps, belt chains, hair picks, rulers, compasses, protractors, ... and the infinite other potential weapons that exist at school and in everyday life.
The spirit of safety policies are, of course, to keep people safe. When those in authority drift from the spirit to the letter of the written policy, they tarnish their reputation and lose respect.
It happens in scouting too. Scouts are good at figuring out ways around troop policies and game rules. We just had a good discussion about electronics use at troop activities. It ranged from "zero-tolerance" to "whatever". Once the discussion clarified what our goals in limiting electronics were, it became much easier to define how scouts are expected to act with these tools rather than banning them.
We're fortunate. In the Scout Law and Oath, we have pretty much all the behavioral expectations set for everyone to understand and accept. Not much more is really needed besides that.
Posted: 16:22 10-13-2009 451 Previous Post Next Post
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