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School District's Drug Policy

March 15, 1998

* Re "Suspended Senior Returns to School on Judge's Order," March 4:

Congratulations to Judge Robert E. Thomas for allowing Ryan Huntsman his day in court and his time at his school.

School districts across the nation have taken a policy to end weapons and violence on campus and made it "carte blanche" for every school to control its school population. In Fullerton, a middle school had "zero tolerance" on hugs! We need to teach our children how to be good citizens, not humiliate them.

The zero-tolerance policy was designed by the generation that coined the phrases "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" and "tune in, turn on and drop out."

Have these administrators become so hung up on control they have forgotten what it's like to be a kid? All children make mistakes, but they should be able to learn from these mistakes, go on and be productive.

Control is necessary, but the school districts in America are way off the mark. Repression brings rebellion. Humiliation brings retaliation.

We need to teach our children to be good citizens. Sending a child to another school does not solve the problem. It passes the problem to another school.

MICHAEL J. KELLNER

Lake Forest

* The zero-tolerance policy does have its effect to [some] extent, but it is sad when school officials will not hear the entire case of a young adult who is about to graduate from high school.

Ryan Huntsman's tests showed that he was not using drugs. He was not going to or from school when he was pulled over. [These are] important facts that seem to be overlooked.

The school has no sufficient evidence for their [suspending] him. What they really need to do is look at this boy's future. He will be going off to college soon. How will this look on his record? They are damaging his future with a case that lacks evidence.

KATIE ALEXANDER

San Juan Capistrano

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