Zero tolerance, zero thinking

Paul W. Smith

I have never been a fan of so-called “zero tolerance.”

In fact, I guess you could say, I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance. I’ve always felt that it meant zero thinking and letting people in charge off the hook. Imagine how great your job (and mine) would be if we didn’t have to think when faced with tough problems that affect others.

“Sorry! A rule is a rule! Can I help the next person in line?”

It seems especially foolish in a school environment (where we are supposed to be teaching people how to think). It looks like Gov. Rick Snyder will have a chance to fix this problem that has expelled or suspended a number of kids from our schools that could have — or at least should have — been handled in a different way. Hopefully the schools will be able to take into consideration a student’s age, the seriousness of the “crime” and the student’s history of behavior or disciplinary problems.

Zero tolerance should be shelved with the other “dumbing down” pet peeves. I’ve never embraced term limits. Why would we want to limit the people we can choose for a political office just because they’ve been in office (you know, getting experience, getting better at their job)?

It should be up to “We The People,” the voters, to decide. But the powers that be say (said) people don’t do their homework and just vote for the familiar name. So once again, dumbing down takes away the right to pick who we want, all to protect us from those who don’t take the incredible right and privilege of voting as seriously as we do.

Don’t even get me started on not being able to buy all the cold medicine I want in a pharmacy because I might be running an illegal meth lab.

“The Paul W. Smith Show” is on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.