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March 3, 2002

Fact-checking British parent Alison Scott, who spent part of her own childhood in Texas, questions one of the stories alluded to in my piece on odious “zero tolerance” policies in modern public schools:
Lord knows I agree that the zero tolerance stuff is getting out of hand. But the story about the 11-year-old in Yorkshire has the stench of unproved rumour about it; the only traces I can find online lead back to a news page from a UK far-right political party (and, as you know, Bob, our far-right parties are neo-racist rather than libertarian). While I’m sure that British schools sometimes suspend kids for daft reasons, we don’t have anything quite like zero-tolerance laws.

I would question whether the facts are being accurately reported in this case, and add that I know from personal experience that children living in other than their native country are often taunted and abused with turns of phrase that would be considered part of the vernacular at home.

I might quibble that we have plenty of purely racist far-right groups ourselves, and that moreover plenty of American libertarians would dispute the description “far-right”. But Alison is correct that this particular story doesn’t seem to hold up. Nor was it polemically necessary; the web sites I linked to document enough well-sourced all-American lunacy to make the point. [01:30 PM]
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Comments on Fact-checking:

Perry de Havilland ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2002, 08:47 PM:

Plenty of British Libertarians would dispute the description of 'far right' as well!