Zero Tolerance for College Students
Gladwell stated in, “No Mercy” (2006), “this is the age of zero tolerance.” Zero tolerance policies, which are regulations for specific issues such as weapons, drugs, cheating and alcohol, are adopted by many schools and workplaces today. According to a government study, more than three quarters of the schools in America use zero policy to restrict students from misconduct. However, statistics show that there is no evidence proving that bad behaviors get deterred or prevented after the application of zero tolerance policy. This is especially true for young adults since they are more likely to misbehave. In this paper, I argue that the use of discretion is crucial to maintain fairness and each violation case should be treated differently due to its circumstance. Zero tolerance policy is not appropriate for young adults at all times. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist, got really depressed after his fight with his mother and broke up with his girlfriend at the age of twenty-one. After he was forced to make films of beryllium in a laboratory in Cambridge, he dosed an apple and tried to poison his tutor. Though this was a severe case, the staff at Cambridge considered that it was the student’s first violation and they did not want to ruin this young gentleman’s future, so they did not file charges. Many people, including me, would argue that zero tolerance policy should be applied since the student was attempting to kill somebody. However, admittedly, the use of discretion in this matter saved Oppenheimer’s future and changed the atomic history for he was later known as, “the father of the atomic bomb” for his contribution in the Manhattan Project and the World War II project. If Oppenheimer had been expelled by Cambridge because zero tolerance policy, we might have lost a great physicist. Additionally, on drugs and alcohol issues, zero tolerance should be carried out strictly. According to Li’s article in Dailybruin...
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