Zero Tolerance has struck again: eight-year-old Eathan Harris was recently suspended for the dastardly crime of realizing that Sharpie markers smelled sort of neat.
"Zero tolerance" policies in schools have always been taken to positively baffling conclusions. However, they certainly fulfill their function--allowing school teachers and administrators to resolve every problem that might come up via knee-jerk reactions without having to think or reason. Some of the policies occasionally make sense at the most fundamental level, but they inevitably get stretched way beyond reasonable limits:
Student expelled for bringing a butter knife to school.
Another student expelled for possessing Tylenol. Tylenol!
Boy expelled for having two soft pellet guns in his car. What were "school authorities" doing searching his car in the first place?
It's no wonder schools have so much trouble imparting the merits of critical thinking to their students--their administrators don't seem to get it, either.