First things first: 14-year-old Kyle Thompson, by all accounts a model student, wrote up a "hit list" of people he wanted to hit on the football field -- believe me, I came up with dumber jokes at that age! -- and then when a teacher came by and took the list from him, he went up and tried to grab it back, and a tug of war ensued. Mr. Thompson thought that tug of war was a joke, but, apparently, the teacher didn't -- and, thanks to Michigan's "zero tolerance" policy, Mr. Thompson was escorted away from the school by police in handcuffs and expelled from all Michigan schools for an entire year, for "assaulting" the teacher (though his classmates' testimony doesn't support that accusation). "Zero tolerance" policies have "zero tolerance" for ambiguity, and as such, they don't teach kids to be responsible -- they teach kids to be robots, to avoid the hard work of detecting nuance in situations, of separating genuine wrongs from stupid drama. "Zero tolerance" policies, then, are a way of avoiding responsibility. Thus the ACLU helps you tell the Michigan legislature to abandon "zero tolerance" policies.
Pennsylvania voters, take note: HB 1681, known to its supporters as the Weight-Restricted Bridge Repair Act, would open up all lands owned or managed by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to oil and gas drilling, and dedicate the royalties earned from drilling leases to weight-restricted bridge repair. I mean, who doesn't like fixing bridges, right? But you'll recognize this scam from our discussion of H.R. 1526 in the U.S. House, which would open up national forests to logging and divert some of the royalties to fix up rural schools as if that's the only conceivable way to fix up rural schools. This is how right-wingers get to fill our air and water with crap while filling their campaign coffers with money and pleasing their corporate paymasters. Better to pay for worthwhile infrastructure projects by taxing higher incomes at a higher rate than the rest of us! After all, where will Pennsylvania's rich move? New Jersey? New York? PennEnvironment helps you tell your state Reps and Senators to oppose HB 1681 and keep our state forests for Pennsylvanians, not gas drilling corporations.