Texas Knife Incident Raises Questions About Zero-Tolerance Policies

03/21/2002 | NYTimes.com

Taylor Hess, a high school junior in Bedford, Texas, has been expelled from school under the state's zero-tolerance policy for leaving a 10-inch bread knife in his truck. Hess has appealed the decision, arguing that the knife accidentally was left behind after taking some of his grandmother's belongings to a local thrift store. The school's principal says he had little choice but to expel Hess because the code is so inflexible. "Zero tolerance doesn't mean zero judgment or rights," says Hess' father.

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