Zero tolerance policies are hurting American schoolchildren, and young boys are the primary targets. Most people have heard of the infamous incident in which a second grade boy from Maryland was punished for nibbling a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. Under the school’s no tolerance policy, that boy was given a two-day suspension. That is just one example of zero tolerance policies making zero sense. Every day, young boys are being harshly punished just for being boys. All this is done so schools can look good to a politically correct segment of the population.
This problem is yet another outgrowth of the feminist lie that boys and girls are exactly the same. Any parent who has had boys and girls can tell you that they behave completely different. Girls are more prone to excel at cooperative social activities while boys thrive on competition. Boys are more active and need more time outside playing than girls. Of course, that doesn’t mean boys cannot learn how to cooperate and girls cannot enjoy outside play, but there are very clear trends in education that seem to punish typical boy behavior and elevate typical girl behavior. It is sad that schools are rapidly cutting back on unstructured outdoor play time for kids, but the real tragedy is that these boys are suffering academically as a result of the cookie-cutter approach to education. Whether you look at grades, reading ability, or admission to college, boys are falling behind their female classmates.
The first and most important thing we can do about the problem is to start caring about it. It may shock you to know there are plenty of feminists out there who would say that they do not care about helping boys achieve academically. Feminists dismiss them as being a part of the future patriarchy. We must start by caring about educational opportunity for both sexes. Next, we have to provide boys with the tools they need to succeed in school. That means eliminating zero tolerance policies targeting boys. That means letting boys have the play time they need to let off steam. Most of all, it means recognizing that boys and girls are different.