Interviewer: So what is zero tolerance in school nowadays that parents have to be aware of that can really affect their kids badly?
Dale: Especially fighting. Okay. Bullying, remember bullying has become a big subject in schools and it’s not well defined how it happens. But intimidation, maybe just continual verbal harassment.They have anti bullying policies because that was an outgrowth of what happened at Columbine. Because those assailants had in fact been targets of bullying.
Dale: And the consequences of bullying, they have severe psychological and emotional consequences. So schools have adopted these anti bullying policies that sometimes extend beyond the school grounds, that might even go into Facebook.
Interviewer: I’ve heard of kids being bullied over Facebook and harassing emails. And some kids even commit suicide because of it. So is that what you mean, bullying extends beyond just stuff at school?
Dale: Yeah, kids can be very cruel. I had a student that one time had brought a weapon onto the premises and the reason why is because he had been threatened. And this student was an athlete but he was accused of being gay and I had a jacket with all these terrible things written on it. They had taken this jacket and written on it. And I brought that into the school board to show them, they did not expel him. Kids could be very cruel. And people tend to lash out the difference in this day and age, I don’t know why. What happened in Sheridan, Ohio here is still a mystery of why it happened. But some student came in and just started opening fire on other students. You have to be very careful about that type of thing.
Interviewer: So the requirement now is zero tolerance is alcohol, drug possession or use, bullying, fighting, and what else in schools? Anything else?
Dale: There’s a regular truancy and those types of things. But I’d say that those that I have named are the most serious, and the ones that come across my desk most frequently.