Little kids being suspended renews debate over zero tolerance

Should 5-year-olds be suspended from school for using their fingers as pretend guns? Should little kids be suspended for making noises that sound like guns?

The Associated Press took a good look at schools suspending some of the youngest students for actions that used to just be seen as play and imagination. Is is because of Sandy Hook? Is it because of zero tolerance rules or both? See what you think. Here’s the story.

From The Associated Press:

“Waiting in line for the bus, a Pennsylvania kindergartener tells her pals she’s going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. In Maryland, two 6-year-old boys pretend their fingers are guns during a playground game of cops and robbers. In Massachusetts, a 5-year-old boy attending an after-school program makes a gun out of Legos and points it at other students while “simulating the sound of gunfire,” as one school official put it.

“Kids with active imaginations? Or potential threats to school safety?

“Some school officials are taking the latter view, suspending or threatening to suspend small children over behavior their parents consider perfectly normal and age-appropriate — even now, with schools in a state of heightened sensitivity following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December.

“The extent to which the Newtown, Conn., shooting might influence educators’ disciplinary decisions is unclear. But parents contend administrators are projecting adult fears onto children who know little about the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators, and who certainly pose no threat to anyone.

“It’s horrible what they’re doing to these kids,” said Kelly Guarna, whose 5-year-old daughter, Madison, was suspended by the Mount Carmel Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania last month for making a “terroristic threat” with the bubble gun. “They’re treating them as mini-adults, making them grow up too fast, and robbing them of their imaginations.”

“Mary Czajkowski, superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools in Hyannis, Mass., acknowledged that Sandy Hook has teachers and parents on edge. But she defended Hyannis West Elementary School’s warning to a 5-year-old boy who chased his classmates with a gun he’d made from plastic building blocks, saying the student didn’t listen to the teacher when she told him repeatedly to stop.

“The school told his mother if it happened again, he’d face a two-week suspension.

“Given the heightened awareness and sensitivity, we must do all that we can to ensure that all students and adults both remain safe and feel safe in schools,” Czajkowski said in a statement. “To dismiss or overlook an incident that results in any member of our school community feeling unsafe or threatened would be irresponsible and negligent.”

“The boy’s mother, Sheila Cruz-Cardosa, said school officials are responding irrationally in the wake of Sandy Hook. She said they should be concentrating on “high school kids or kids who are more of a threat, not an innocent 5-year-old who’s playing with Legos.”

“Though Newtown introduces a wrinkle to the debate, the slew of recent high-profile suspensions over perceived threats or weapons infractions has renewed old questions about the wisdom of “zero tolerance” policies.

“Conceived as a way to improve school security and maintain consistent discipline and order, zero tolerance was enshrined by a 1994 federal law that required states to mandate a minimum one-year expulsion of any student caught with a firearm on school property. Over the years, many states and school districts expanded zero tolerance to include offenses as varied as fighting, skipping school or arguing with a teacher.

“Some experts say there’s little evidence that zero tolerance — in which certain infractions compel automatic discipline, usually suspension or expulsion — makes schools safer, and contend the policies leads to increased rates of dropouts and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Supporters respond that zero tolerance is a useful and necessary tool for removing disruptive kids from the classroom, and say any problems stem from its misapplication.

“The original 1994 federal law, and most state and local zero tolerance policies, give school administrators the flexibility to tailor punishments to fit the circumstances, noted school safety expert Kenneth Trump.

“Contrary to the myth of zero tolerance, most school board policies provide options and flexibility for administrators. What you see is poor decision-making and poor implementation of the policies, rather than the fact school administrators are handcuffed in terms of their discretion,” he said.

“Trump said most school officials bend over backward to be fair. But he added there’s no question that Sandy Hook weighs heavily.

“It’s a normal occurrence to have a heightened sensitivity after a high-profile tragedy, but that does not negate the need for common sense,” he said.

“Maryland father Stephen Grafton said common sense was in short supply in a case involving his 6-year-old son, who he said was suspended from White Marsh Elementary School in Trappe, along with a second 6-year-old, for using their hands as “guns” during recess.

“Grafton, a staff sergeant in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, said administrators were criminalizing play. He said he told his son he shouldn’t shoot pretend guns because it makes some children upset, “but it was a difficult conversation to have because he didn’t do anything wrong.”

“The school lifted the suspension after a day and removed it from his record, Grafton said.”

“It’s a very hypersensitive time,” he said. “But, still, common sense has to apply for something like this, and it looks like common sense just went completely out the window.”

“The school principal did not respond to messages.”

“Zero tolerance traces its philosophical roots to the “broken windows” theory of policing, which argues that if petty crime is held in check, more serious crime and disorder are prevented. So it’s no accident that students are often harshly punished over relatively minor misbehavior, said Russell Skiba, a zero tolerance expert at Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.”

“We’ve seen literally thousands of these kinds of episodes of zero tolerance since the early 1990s,” said Skiba, who co-authored a 2006 study for the American Psychological Association that concluded zero tolerance has not improved school security.”

“In the Pennsylvania case, Guarna, a former police officer, said she was summoned to her daughter’s school last month and told that 5-year-old Madison had talked about shooting her pink bubble gun.”

“The kindergartener was initially suspended for 10 days and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation, according to documents supplied by Guarna’s attorney. The suspension was later reduced to two days, and the incident was reclassified as “threat to harm others.”

“But Guarna wasn’t satisfied. The counselor who evaluated Madison indicated she was a “typical 5-year-old in temperament and interest.” Guarna and her attorney, Robin Ficker, demanded the district expunge Madison’s record, apologize and make policy changes.”

“The parties met recently and Guarna went away happy, though she said she was asked not to reveal the terms of her agreement with the district. The district’s attorney declined to comment, citing privacy law.”

“Guarna said she intends to push for changes in state law.”

“My daughter had to suffer. I don’t want to see other kids suffering,” Guarna said.”

“Mark Terry, a Texas principal and president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, said most principals he knows are “not big supporters” of zero tolerance policies because they discount professional judgment.”

“But when discipline policies do provide leeway, he said, “I would hope that principals would, number one, use discretion and common sense. And if you do make a mistake, apologize and say, ‘Hey, that was a boneheaded move.’ Our sensitivities are just too high, and we need to back off a little bit and take a look at what our real safety plan is.”

Are these penalties too harsh for their “offenses?” Are these even offenses?

Is fear over another Sandy Hook leading to administrators enforcing extreme penalties against very young children who are using their imaginations? Or are the extreme penalties the results of zero tolerance policies?

59 comments Add your comment


February 20th, 2013
12:51 am

Five-year old boys point their fingers and “shoot”. They are suspended and ordered to undergo psych evaluations. What a missed opportunity for teachers! Get up off the teachers’ “recess bench” and teach your class a game — London Bridge, Farmer In the Dell, Four Square, etc. These games are almost extinct among the next generation. Show the video “Eddie The Eagle and Gun Safety” to the class.
Question: If five-year old girls were cuddling dolls on the playground, would they be considered “at risk” for teenage pregnancy and sent for psych evaluations?

Jane W.

February 20th, 2013
2:31 am

There are many excellent reasons why parents should have the right to send their kids to public or private schools of their own choosing.

Then, stories such as this come along to add new reasons.

Real Life

February 20th, 2013
6:22 am

For the most part the examples in the article are just about kids playing and are not worthy of the punishment given. The only one that makes any sense whatsoever is the child whose parents were warned about his behavior and told suspension would be the next step. Maybe if he had not made a play gun from the Lego the punishment might not have been as severe. But the child and his parents (and warning the parents is the important part here) were warned what would happen if the behavior happened again. That sets this incident apart from the others which defy the imagination. This particular incident was a repeat and all knew in advance the consequences of this particular behavior. The suspension is a bit lengthy but is not out of line because the parents and child had been warned.
And for those that think this will not happen in private schools—it does and it will. They too have zero tolerance policies for many things–from behavior to disagreement with the philosophies of people running the schools.

A Realist

February 20th, 2013
7:35 am

Political Correctness is ruining this country


February 20th, 2013
7:55 am

I’m SO thankful my kids are not in government schools anymore!!!

EVERY little boy plays with guns, and pretends he’s shooting something. Now it’s a pathway to violence. The wussification continues, get them while they’re young. Control their little minds…..

And BTW, Sandy Hook never happened. It was the government. Watch the video, it will open your eyes. I don’t believe it happened. I think it was all a set up…….


February 20th, 2013
8:00 am

I could not disagree more with MamaS. Kids do not need instruction on how and what to play at recess. They need free play time to teach each other games they know and make up new games together. They should be left alone unless it’s really necessary to have an adult step in. Kids don’t get enough unstructured play time.

As for zero tolerance — it’s a cop out that makes admins lives easier. They can’t make a wrong decision. They dole out the mandatory suspension and move on. No need to look at factors like age, intent, or whether students were placed in actual danger.


February 20th, 2013
8:04 am

Zero tolerance? Exactly what is that? In my school, we’re forced to tolerate everything! Kids can pretend to shoot guns, punch teachers, fight all day, and nothing is done? What is this zero tolerance you speak of and where is it happening in Georgia? I need to apply.


February 20th, 2013
8:12 am

I had two sisters and we did not play with guns. We lived in Chicago. I mentioned this ( last week) to my husband and he said they played with cap guns. when they were little. Yes, I remembered those. The boys in our neighborhood played with them.

We had guns in our house, when we moved to the farm, in Arkansas. I am not opposed to responsible adults having guns.

I have used squirt guns and super soakers for games with children. As in playing water games. I did not see a problem with it.

Kids today are exposed to way more via technology, in the realm of guns. Their idea of playing with guns could be different.

This comment is good but I think we should add parents to the principals:
“I would hope that principals would, number one, use discretion and common sense. And if you do make a mistake, apologize and say, ‘Hey, that was a boneheaded move.’ Our sensitivities are just too high, and we need to back off a little bit and take a look at what our real safety plan is.”

I see this is a Texas principal. Texans use guns ( not just in videos) and perhaps common sense too.


February 20th, 2013
8:17 am

@ HB…mark this down…I totally AGREE with your first paragraph today! Playground is not PE and some children never play outside, when they are not at school. This IS the time for them to learn and construct their own games.


February 20th, 2013
8:34 am

These situations are beyond ridicuous!

And I agree with HB … recess is about free play, learning how to get along, working together, using their imaginations, etc.

Good grief – let’s stifle young minds and creativity at every turn!


February 20th, 2013
8:35 am

Zero tolerane? Yeah, right, let’s forget and outlaw “common sense”

Disgusted in Dekalb

February 20th, 2013
8:35 am

Zero tolerance across the board is ludicrous. Every situation is different.

mayhem, go tell your ‘conspiracy theory’ to the parents who lost their children. People like you are one of the big problems with our country these days.


February 20th, 2013
8:40 am

Hey Theresa.. my comments keep getting lost


February 20th, 2013
8:41 am

Seriously? “Get up off the teacher’s bench and teach them a game.” How about parents get up off their fannies and teach them some games? It’s called recess…not P.E. My answer to why little children are being suspended and administrators go straight for zero tolerance is lack of common sense.


February 20th, 2013
8:44 am

@Disgusted…go watch that video. We are still hearing about Columbine…..but we don’t hear about Sandy Hook much anymore, and it supposedly happened 3 months ago. Watch the video. Open your mind. and watching that video will amaze you and realize our government is so capable of this.

I bawled like a baby the day I heard of the shooting, and I was glued to the tv. Then I watched the video…..and I truly believe it was a hoax, for the gun control lefties….

There’s some serious stuff happening out there, and one day you will open your eyes and realize we have become a socialist nation. Our current administration wants to control us, and disarm us, unemploy us, and make us more and more dependant upon the government…….people are losing jobs right and left, unemployment is at an all time high, more Americans are on food stamps now that ever before in history, businesses are closing down. Unemployment is at an all time high, and here go the gas prices again……


February 20th, 2013
8:47 am

Zero tolerance was the response to crazy parents who claimed “their little one’s case was special.” So now you have got it. No one likes it, but it is in place because everyone’s child is so unique, and their misdeeds are so innocent. Not OTHER kids’ misdeeds, you understand.

We have a 4th grader who got a 3 day suspension and is facing court. Last year our superintendent took an interest in him, trying to get him going down a better path. He could hone in like a laser on the weakest kid and “befriend” him and them get him to do his bidding. He has been in a lot of trouble this year, but when he threatened kids on the bus with shooting them (captured on tape so parents could not dispute) he was suspended for 3 days. His parents have shown they care about him but are not willing to be the adults, and the result has been an escalation of his behaviors.

Sometimes, folks, suspension is all that is left to get parents’ attention before the court steps in. We have to protect all of the kids.


February 20th, 2013
8:56 am

Just Wow. Remember, Biden says gun violence is OK as long as you use a “double barrell shot gun”. Maybe those kids should have used 2 fingers. Kind of puts they whole silly argument into perspective doesn;’t it?


February 20th, 2013
9:11 am

I only read the first couple of paragraphs but it’s enough for me to say that schools over react.

@Mayehm – are you serious? Please tell me I just am not reading your sarcasm through the text.

@RealLife – oh yes, I can attest this dumb overreaction to things happens in private schools too.


February 20th, 2013
9:13 am

@Mayhem – nevermind, just saw your latest post. I’ll watch the video but I don’t really buy into conspiracy theories.


February 20th, 2013
9:19 am

The problem is that the debate should never have ended or even better, the laws should never have been passed. Zero tolerance = zero intelligence.

What is amazing is that parents sit on the sidelines and continue to scream about this stupidity yet continue to send their children to places that are basically just prisons. Any rational person would actually want to control how their children are being treated every day, not just allow them to be subjected to the chronic stupidity of the government system.


February 20th, 2013
9:21 am

@Techmom – honestly I don’t either, but this one really seems legit…..I have a few neighbors who watched it, and they have changed their opinions on what really happened too….it’s an eye opener….


February 20th, 2013
9:26 am


February 20th, 2013
9:27 am

Mayhem – From what I have seen this really isn’t the type of crowd that is willing to question the “official government story.” What a shame as their kids are the ones being exploited for others’ gain. Keep trying to wake people up though.


February 20th, 2013
9:35 am

I doubt if the parents who lost children or the loved ones of the teachers and adminstrators at Sandy Hook think this didn’t happen and was all a government conspiracy. Just like the Holocaust didn’t happen, just like 911 was a government conspiracy. Good Lord help us all if everything that happens really “didn’t happen” or if it did, it was all a government conspiracy, coverup, whatever.


February 20th, 2013
9:40 am

@momsrule – Google Sandy Hook Conspiracy.

What amazes me, is there were 650 kids in that school, but where were they? Watch the video, and all you see is that one line of about 10 kids with their arms on their shoulders. Where are the rest of the kids? Why were the EMT’s and ambulances so far away? Why are the parents smiling?

Also, the “rifle” the shooter apparently used, was in the back of his car. How did he use that gun, then kill himself when he heard the responders, and how did it get back into his car? Listen very carefully to the video.

The one that got me, was the man that apparently found 6 babies sitting in his front yard. Two different stories from the same man about what he saw and did. My question is, what bus driver drops kids off and LEAVES them in someone’s front yard? Especially at that age!


February 20th, 2013
10:00 am

The bus driver didn’t leave the kids there — he/she stayed at the house with them. One rifle was in the back of the shooter’s car — he had the primary weapon he used and two other guns inside the school. For someone so set on not just accepting whatever story you’re given, you don’t seem to be interested in questioning the “facts” presented in the video.

The lies presented in the video are disgusting and harmful. People in Newtown have been harrassed and even received death threats as a result of this nonsense.


February 20th, 2013
10:16 am

It’s a tough year for young mimes, eh? What if a young genius wrote “E=MC2″ in kindergarten and then mimed the chain reaction created in the milliseconds before an Hbomb goes off? How long would his suspension’s half life be then? We have to get a protocol going for mime-delinquents. This is an issue which could alter the course of performance art for decades, nay, centuries, and we must resist censorship with every funny bone in our bodies. We’ll fight them on the stage, we’ll fight them as class clowns, we’ll fight them as cut-ups and screw-up and we’ll use tin foil, and fake moustaches, and whoopy cushions, and squirting flower lapels until every vestige of censorship lies on the ash heap of history…..(from, “winston churchill…the childhood years”)


February 20th, 2013
10:18 am

@Mayhem, and I guess we didn’t land on the moon either?


February 20th, 2013
10:31 am

Zero Tolerance and mandated punishments are either lazy, Facist or created by morons incapable of judgement.


February 20th, 2013
10:36 am

jarvis – Exactly, they are created by government bureaucrats.


February 20th, 2013
10:57 am


February 20th, 2013
11:00 am

jarvis and forgotten: They are the result of PARENTS demanding that their little snowflake didn’t mean to but everyone else’s “hoodlum” did! So, to stop that, ALL misbehaving students are painted with the same brush. Teachers don’t like it. Principals don’t like it. But litigious parents caused it.


February 20th, 2013
11:07 am

@ Catlady. Do you think a 6 yr old playing pretend guns is misbehaving? I think that’s what makes everyone crazy.


February 20th, 2013
11:15 am

If sandy hook was a government conspiracy to force gun-control, it has had the opposite affect as Gunn/ammo sales are through the roof with many purchases being first time buyers. The nation is more armed now than it was in December.

Zero tolerance is a cop-out to allow administrators to say ‘my hands were tied, I had to punish your child’ instead of forcing them to think, make common sense decisions and defend their decisions with logic. Parents are partly to blame for freaking out over every little event that involves their little one thereby making admins afraid to not punish every incident for fear the parent on the other side will overreact.


February 20th, 2013
11:21 am

@Mayhem if it didn’t happen, where are all of the adults/children that were killed? Witness protection? Come on now.


February 20th, 2013
12:02 pm

Homeschooler: A six year old? No. But where do you draw the line? If the rule is age 10,what about a child who is 9 1/2?
Penguinmom: There is no “logic” when a parent feels that their snowflake is being picked on. In school we see some of the craziest stuff that defies logic. Example: a couple of years ago we had a boy who got into trouble frequently. When the AP called mom to tell her he was being sent to ISS for a few days for threatening another child, she went nuts, saying he hadn’t meant it, screaming and hollering that we could not do that–what if the judge heard about it? The AP kept trying to tell her there was no judge involved, and the mother finally admitted that she had called the cops on her son recently because he had threatened to hurt HER. SHE has gotten him tied up with the court! But there is no way he would threaten a child at school! You see how nutty the (stuff) is we have to fool with?

Just sayin

February 20th, 2013
12:21 pm

@ Catlady you are correct. PARENTS caused this. If the school had not suspened this kid and another child went home and said “Bobby pretended to shoot me today”, the parents would have a fit and be at the school and on the news in a minute. Everyone thinks this is stupid until someone pretends to shoot at your child. Yes, more than likely it means nothing, but tell that to the sue happy parents of America. Schools are covering their buts the best way they know how. Is it right…heck no, but then again we HAVE had cases of 5 and 6 year olds bringing mama or daddy’s gun to school.


February 20th, 2013
1:04 pm

Eh, my comment keeps going into cyberspace limbo. TWG could you fish it out?


February 20th, 2013
1:39 pm

Just sayin’: We had a nine year old bring auntie’s blood sugar testing lancet to school and go around sticking kids he did not like–all with the same needle! That one gave me the willies!


February 20th, 2013
2:03 pm

The one thing that really could ease the issue of zero tolerance is if administrators would do as Mr. Terry suggests when they make a mistake and “apologize and say, ‘Hey that was a boneheaded move”. However, most will be too concerned about looking weak and “allowing” the parent to win; at least the recent ones I have encountered.

For example, my son was suspended in kindergarten for scratching his teacher on her arm. When I got to the school to pick him up I was informed by the principal that he scratched his teacher so hard that “he drew blood”. Now in my house, the punishment fits the crime, and it was extremely difficult for me to decide on a punishment because the entire way home my son is crying and saying “I didn’t make her bleed mommy I promise! I wouldn’t do that to her!”

Once I got home and calmed down, I started to wonder.. maybe he is telling the truth. I mean, he does bite his nails so scratching her that hard is really not plausible. Therefore, I call the teacher who tells me the exact story my son told me. She says the mark was gone within about 20 minutes. Confused and irritated to say the least, dad and I schedule a conference with the principal and the teacher to touch on the subject and do you know that neither of them would own up to who misrepresented the situation to us?!?! On top of that, my son was sitting there when the principal told me he drew blood. So now, my son won’t even look at the principal or talk to her. When I ask him why he says “because I don’t want her to tell a lie about me again, plus, I don’t think she likes me very much”.

As for kids, especially boys, and playing guns, I explain it to my son like this: we don’t play with our video games at school, we don’t play with our beyblades at school, we don’t wear skates to school nor do we ride our skateboard around school. There are some play things/games/toys that are better played at home, and anything that has to do with guns falls into that category. We hadn’t had the issue before, but I had a feeling that after the Sandy Hook incident, things may be taken with a heap of sea salt and that it would be better to nip it now, than to try and explain it later. He seems to get it because so far.. so good.


February 20th, 2013
2:37 pm

@Scooby – I don’t know where they are, but maybe, just maybe, they weren’t real. Maybe their names were made up.

Where are the lawsuits? Where are the survivors? We haven’t really heard too much from any of the survivors now have we? We only “saw” one funeral. After that, there was pretty much nothing. No news follow ups, no interviews, nothing, zip, nada, nil….


February 20th, 2013
3:07 pm

@Mayhem ~ I understand the need for conspiracy theories. Really I do. I actually question everything, but that everything also includes the conspiracy theories themselves. There are just as many holes in the conspiracy theories as there are in the story itself. The REAL problem with all of this is that the media was more focused on being the “first” to report any information therefore they really didn’t stop to ensure it’s credibility or accuracy before announcing it. It was pure chaos that day. So take those holes with a grain of salt. And remember, the same individual who is behind the main Sandy Hook conspiracy theory movie is also the main one who said that 9/11 was planned by the government too….

Atlanta Mom

February 20th, 2013
4:13 pm

I agree. The idea behind zero tolerance was equal punishment for all, and that was a good thing. Too many children of involved parents were getting away with (gosh, I almost said murder)……. a lot.
But, zero tolerance has become a convenient excuse to use no judgment at all. And I don’t think that was or should be in intent of the law.


February 20th, 2013
5:24 pm

My son was suspended for passing a note that said the substitute teacher looked like an elf, around Christmas time. When are we going allow kids to be kids, again. They need physical education for their physical AND mental health.


February 20th, 2013
5:39 pm

Zero Tolerance is when weak administrators and lazy teachers substitute rules for judgement.I used to be a bail bondsman and over the decades,saw my fair share of educators.DUI’s,assault,even “inappropriate relationships” that went nuclear. Every last one of them (especially the DUI’s) wondered why they couldn’t get some special deal because they had “never been in trouble before”. I analogized their little problem to “zero tolerance” and they usually just went pale,looked downcast and accepted their fate…


February 20th, 2013
5:49 pm

Actually, Atlanta Mom, I think that WAS the intent. Too many “connected” parents got their children out of trouble, or too many poor parents saw their children blamed for things that other children were getting out of. Whatever it was, if it is the RULE, it is the rule. I cannot imagine going back to using professional judgement, because EVERYONE’s child is innocent, EVERYONE’s child didn’t do it, EVERYONE’s child was the one being picked on. In the 40 years I have been in the classroom, it has gotten worse and worse.


February 20th, 2013
5:50 pm

It is always THOSE PEOPLE’s children. Take my word for it!


February 20th, 2013
6:03 pm

Is Mayhem actually saying that the shooting in Connecticut was fake?

Here you go dumb ass.


February 20th, 2013
7:40 pm

@ Mayhem – If you had lost a 5 or 6 year old child, would you want your child’s funeral a big media event or would you want to grieve your loss with dignity and privacy? Just because these families and survivors are not “media hounds” does not mean they don’t exist. If they had come out speaking and talking with reporters, they would have been accused of “politicizing” what happened to their child or loved one. You really believe the opposing political party is so “evil” that they would fake the deaths of kindergartners and first graders? Regardless of how much you oppose the “other” political party, they are not the “devil incarnate”.

Yes, there are sometimes cover-ups by governments, but the idea of faking something such as this, on this scale, is beyond rational thought. An event involving a public school with hundreds of children and parents, many of whom are Republican, would be too easily debunked, to the point of no-one risking such an absurd feat. We have had restrictions on assaut weapons in recent years (that expired) without resorting to fakery. Obama would have had success passing such measures anyway, if he desired, without Newtown.


February 21st, 2013
1:37 am

Since when did we make a change to include children under 10 a part of the crimminal class of America? Are not our Jails filled to capicity as we speak? When did FEAR become a integral part of our daily life? This is not the America I know at ALL!