Volume 20, Issue 35                          September 17, 2015
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Ron Paul
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In This Issue

The Madness of Zero Tolerance

Compassion with Caution
Fact Check Last Night's Debate

See what H.L. Mencken, President Obama, Rand Paul, Thomas Bogle and Penn Jillette have to say about power, democracy, free speech, the war on drugs and education. 

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Executive Director Brett Bittner
From Me To You

by Brett Bittner


The Madness of Zero Tolerance 

When news broke this week about 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed’s arrest for building a clock at home and bringing it to school, I immediately thought of zero tolerance incidents in the recent past. Most specifically, I was reminded of the ridiculousness of the suspension received by my high school class president during our sophomore year.

David was our class president, an honor roll student intent on attending Northwestern University, a member of the marching and symphonic band, a leader in many academic and extracurricular clubs, and an all-around good guy. He was a good guy that had to explain on every college application and in every interview about a 10-day suspension in the 10th grade for bringing a weapon to school.

zero toleranceEven more innocent than either this incident or this one, David’s suspension was a direct result of zero tolerance policy. David brought a knife to school and got caught with it during lunch. BOOM! Ten day suspension, out of school for an honor student.

You may be asking why such a bright kid needed a knife at school. It wasn’t for protection, because David was immensely popular and friends across the high school cliques. It wasn’t because he was a troublemaker, because David had never received a single disciplinary action in his school career. It wasn’t because he was defiant of the rule, because he was a model student.

He brought the knife to school to eat an apple, because David wore braces, and he had to cut away the skin of the apple to prevent it from getting stuck in very expensive orthodontics.

While I can appreciate the absolute right and wrong nature of zero tolerance policies, they leave absolutely no room for discretion or appeal to common sense for thinking individuals to realize the difference between intent and outcome. When applied in a school setting, I’m curious to know why zero tolerance policies exist, as the trust to make responsible decisions teachers and administrators disappears.

Aren’t they still trusted to make educational decisions for their students?

If we can’t trust that they can make the decision about right and wrong about a weapon or drugs on campus, how can we trust them to make the right decisions for the students they teach?

By the way, I’m happy to share that David went on to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta and chose Yale for his graduate studies.

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News You Can Use

Written & Compiled by Advocates Staff

Compassion with Caution

Over the last month, citizens of the world have watched the growing Syrian refugee crisis unfold on television. Thousands of men, women and children are risking their lives to flee the violence from the Syrian civil war. Many are making the treacherous journey on foot through Turkey, while others attempt to sail across the Mediterranean on makeshift rafts.

compassionAccording to Mercy Corps, more than 11 million Syrians have been displaced since 2011. The majority of these people have fled to Syria’s neighboring countries over the years – Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. As violence continues in the Middle East, more than 350,000 migrants have sought asylum in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – and it’s not ending there.

Germany expects 800,000 more migrants this year. British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged on Monday to take in up to 20,000 refugees from camps in Syria over the next five years.

Read more about the Syrian refugee crisis here...

Check out the face check from last night's debate! 




Uber and Lyft Officially Allowed to Operate in Nevada - Engadget 
DOJ Announces ‘New Policy’ of Acknowledging Fourth Amendment - Reason
Federal Court Puts Limits on Cellphone Tracking - Reason

News You Can Use is written and compiled by staff at the Advocates for Self-Government. 
Students for Liberty Regional Conferences 2015
Bits and Bytes From Across the Spectrum

SELLING FALSE IMAGES"Students are not sold an education but rather a false image of their future selves."— Thomas Bogle, Public School Teacher, September 15, 2015

DRUGS DAMAGE THE INNER CITIES: "I think the war on drugs has really damaged our inner cities. Not only do the drugs damage them, we damage them again by incarcerating them and then preventing them from getting employment over time. So I don't think that the federal government should override the states. I believe in the Tenth Amendment." — Rand Paul, Presidential Candidate, September 16, 2015

CODDLING OUR YOUTH: "I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em."   â€” President Barack Obama, September 14, 2015

"Quotable" is compiled by members of the Advocates staff.

The Libertarian Homeschooler
Conversations With My Boys

By The Libertarian Homeschooler
Where Do Our Rights Come From?

Me: What would you say to someone who said rights come from the government?

Young Statesman (then 13): Well, it seems like we get our rights from government, and I think that’s a common misconception.

The Young Statesman Contemplates RightsMe: Why is that?

YS: Because the government is charged with protecting our rights. That’s their job. I think that’s why people get confused.

Me: So how would you explain to someone what rights are and where they come from?

YS: I would explain that there are positive rights and negative rights. Negative rights are a duty to refrain from encroaching on the life, liberty, or property of another.

Read more of the convesation here...

The Libertarian Homeschooler is a homeschooling mother of two boys, 10 and 14. You can connect with the community she has created here. 

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