Analytical Essay

633 Words3 Pages
Zero Tolerance In the article entitled “No Mercy,” Malcolm Gladwell writes on the zero tolerance policies in our schools. The essay is an argument against zero-tolerance and a return for discretionary justice. He gives different examples to identify his position such as a Cambridge University student that attempted to poison his tutor, and a football quarterback that was cut from the team for being overpaid on his job. The author’s main point is whether zero tolerance policy is appropriate when disciplining students in the school system. Gladwell’s argument draws your attention to the fact that at some point in life children will be children and make stupid mistakes. These mistakes are punishable however, they are mistakes done by children who deserve second chances. He makes this clear by saying, “punishment without the possibility of redemption is worse: it is the Crucifixion without Christ” (Gladwell 103). He goes a step further to remind the reader that these are kids not executives at Enron. “No Mercy” speaks to administrators and educators who at some point should ask themselves, “Is zero tolerance always the best plan for disciplinary action?” In the article Gladwell does not suggest that there should be no form of punishment for students when they do something wrong; but that a zero tolerance policy might not always be appropriate. He suggests that a student’s history and individual circumstances should be taken into account. Gladwell’s first and most powerful example given is that of a Cambridge student that attempted to poison his tutor with a chemical laced apple. Under the zero tolerance policy adopted by many schools today he would have very easily been expelled from school but instead was placed on probation and sent to a psychiatrist. This was done due to the fact that administrators took into consideration that he had never done anything like
Open Document