- Feb 6, 2007
Expulsion isn't about punishing the student, so much as it is about removing disruptive students from the environment. And, it isn't like they can't enroll in another school. Most districts have an alternative school especially for students that can't function in normal schools. That includes things like pat downs and such, as it is a bunch of trouble makers.
So expulsion should never, ever be used for a first offense then. I mean, if your goal is removing disruptive students, I'd argue that literally no single action marks a student as enough of a distraction that they would be impossible to help through counseling. You might reasonably say "what about shooting up the school," at which point I would counter with "that's a real crime; throw his ass in jail and skip the 'expulsion' bit." Bringing a leaf, maple, marijuana, coca or otherwise, does not, in my mind, constitute enough of a distraction as a single incident to say "you are not allowed back."
Expulsion is an abdication of responsibility by the state organization charged with educating the youth, and that's completely illogical. You know what the best learning opportunity is? Making a mistake. You don't learn anything from constantly being told you're perfect, you learn when you fuck up and someone says "here's why that didn't work." Now, granted, if this particular student has a long history of disrupting the learning environment and has been given countless opportunities to change his behavior, fine, expel him. But zero tolerance policies skip all that rigmarole for certain first offenses, and that's a colossal failure of the educational system.