Do you use TV Tropes at all? Because there’s actually a trope called ‘Think of the Children’, and it is basically this: when someone uses a sensationalist phrase (such as the titular ‘think of the children!’) to get people to overreact/react the way they want. The page even listed a few political examples, and I couldn’t help but think of that when you mentioned the phrase.
I’d be shocked if “Think of the Children” didn’t exist decades, if not centuries, before the Internet, let alone TVTropes.
Convincing people to do stupid shit you can profit from in order to defend their children from overblown or imaginary threats is a time honoured tradition.
I suspect the start of mockingly using that term specifically came from The Simpsons, but I might well be wrong.
I seem to recall a case of a kid getting into zero-tolerance trouble for a DRAWING of a gun, and school board said their hand were tied, they were required to enforce zero tolerance or lose federal funding.
That happens all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s “cowboys and indians” or a family member who’s police or military, many schools will heavily punish ANY drawing of a gun.
They’ve got a choice, but they don’t want to lose that federal money.
When I was in elementary school, a kid in my school district got expelled for keeping his inhaler in his backpack instead of with the nurse, because having prescription medication on your person violated zero tolerance drug laws.
The fact that this was discovered when he started having a terrible asthma attack on the bus as it was pulling into school and his sister pulled out his inhaler and saved his life didn’t seem to really change the circumstances all that much. I feel like, generally “zero tolerance” regulations are just bad ideas.
Remember what they say: zero tolerance equals zero common sense.
That’s when I would get a lawyer. The school is endangering a child by not allowing him to carry a life-saving rescue inhaler, as well as discriminating against him for having a medical disability not properly accommodating his needs. They’d probably bend that “zero tolerance” before you could blink.
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