Are your children safe at school? That depends on if you’re worried about bullies or administrators. Here are 10 of the most infamous “zero tolerance” punishments handed down to kids—and even some adults—this year.
1. Student, 13, shares lunch, gets detention
A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch (a chicken burrito) with a hungry friend. For this, he got detention. Superintendent Tom Barnett explained, “Because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals.”
2. Sunscreen not allowed on field trip—kids might drink it
A San Antonio, Texas, school forbid students to bring sunscreen on a field trip. Why? According to spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor, “We can’t allow toxic things to be in our schools.” The children, “could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”
3. Kindergarten cancels its year-end show to allow more time for college prep
A letter home from the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, read, in part: “The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.”
4. Teacher suspended on weapons charge for demonstrating carpentry tools
A second grade teacher at Chicago’s Washington Irving Elementary School was suspended for four days without pay for bringing screwdrivers, wrenches and other shop tools to class, and demonstrating how to use them. These are dangerous items.