Article Title

Zero Tolerance


Annie Huish


Excellent, Intermediate, Claudia Mills, Middle School, Tolerance, Suspension, Detention, Student, Private School

Document Type

Book Review


RULES. As a member of the leadership club, Sierra was certain that rules were just a part of life, and helped everyone maintain order. RESPECT. She had even participated in the creation of some of them, knowing that those who respect policies and each other are those who excel. RESPONSIBILITY. That’s what she thought she was doing, taking responsibility, when her life at Longwood Middle School came to a screeching halt. RELIABILITY. Everything she knew about Longwood, about her friends and her academic success all changed when she accidentally grabbed the wrong lunch. Her mother’s lunch. The one with the paring knife. Everyone knows that the principle, Mr. Besser, worked hard at maintaining the policies that helped make Longwood the successful middle school that it is. So when Sierra accidentally grabbed the wrong lunch, Mr. Besser didn't seem to budge from his zero tolerance policies. Even though she took it to the nearest adult as soon as she realized her mistake. That’s when everything she knew about Longwood Middle School and it’s policies aren’t everything the world is made of. Suddenly, she found herself in in-school suspension awaiting her expulsion hearing. Sierra is thrust into the spotlight as those around her take sides in the conflict of abiding by the rules and making exceptions. That’s when she learned that her classmate, Luke, also in suspension for altercations, teaches her that life isn’t all about following the rules as stringently as Mr. Besser and his staff so gleefully abide by.