The growth of the "zero tolerance policy" has led to a vast number of students being suspended, expelled, or even arrested for "crimes" that virtually nobody considers crimes. Because of schools adopting harsh rules against drugs, violence, bad behavior or anything they deem misconduct, students have been subject to punishments that far outstrip anything they might have done wrong.
In past instances, kids as young as six have been led out of class in handcuffs and wrongfully suspended for wearing the wrong clothing, making noises, bringing something that looks like it maybe could possibly almost be a weapon, or just bothering someone. This culminated in the arrest and suspension of Ahmed Mohamed, a high school freshman who made a clock for a science project, and was interrogated by police because his English teacher thought it looked like a bomb.But Ahmed was far from the first student humiliated, arrested, and traumatized, and kicked out of school over nothing, or for doing something that only skirted the edges of a zero tolerance policy. Here are some of the most egregious cases of zero tolerance gone wrong. Which kids were accidentally suspended for the silliest reasons? Vote up the worst and most ridiculous cases of kids being suspended over nothing below.
Middle Schooler Suspended for Helping Classmate During Asthma Attack
Anthony Ruelas, a 15-year-old hero from Gateway Middle School in Killeen, Texas, was suspending for carrying a sick child to the nurse. According to reports, Ruelas's classmate had an asthma attack during class. The teacher, waiting on an email from the nurse, told the class to remain in their seats and stay calm, even after the ailing student fell out of her chair. Ruelas, not content to watch his fellow either grader suffer, got up, said "‘f—k that we ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse," and carried the girl to the nurse's office. He was suspended for two days for not following directions from his teacher.
The Student Arrested for Burping
A 13-year-old New Mexico student was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled off to juvie - all for the crime of disrupting his class by burping once. Apparently the young man burped "audibly" during gym class, prompting his teacher to complain to school authorities. This same student had earlier been stripped searched in front of numerous adults after being accused of selling pot - which was never found. The boy's parents filed a lawsuit against the school.
The Third Grader Expelled Because of Her Grandma's Cake
A Delaware third grader was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it. The teacher used the knife to cut and serve the cake, then promptly turned the student in for having a knife. The expulsion was eventually overturned.
The Student Arrested Over a Maple Leaf
A Virginia middle school student was arrested, given a one year suspension, and forced to undergo psychological counseling because he was caught carrying a leaf that looked suspiciously like a marijuana plant. Except it wasn't pot at all - it was a maple leaf allegedly put in his backpack by another student. The charges were eventually dropped and the boy allowed to go back to school - but he had to attend a different school in the district, and was still subjected to random pat-downs.