Zero Tolerance Policy Run Amok – Grieving Teenager Suspended

Sixteen-year-old Kyler Robertson’s father was stabbed to death while sitting in his automobile Sunday afternoon, September 9.  Tuesday, Kyler decided to return to Byron Nelson High School, against his mother’s better wishes, “to be among his friends.”

Byron Nelson High School
Trophy Club, TX

Upon arriving 10 minutes late, a teacher sent Robertson to his Trophy Club, TX high school’s office for tardiness.  When his bloodshot, watery eyes and elevated blood pressure were noted, his mother was summoned to the school.  Officials suspended Robertson for 3 days due to suspicion of marijuana use.  He would be enrolled in alternative learning (in-school suspension) unless his mother, at her expense, provided a negative drug test to school officials within two hours.

Nevermind the boy has allergies.  Nevermind a childhood kidney issue that causes his blood pressure to occasionally rise.  Nevermind the boy’s father had been murdered less than 48 hours before. 
Kyle’s mother, Cristy Fritz, managed to get the boy into his doctor’s office in the alotted time, where an exam and a negative drug test indicated no presence of illegal drug.  A sinus infection, though, was found. 

After handing this documentation to the school, Fritz was advised that her son would avoid the in-school suspension, but that a formal appeals process would have to be followed to remove the 3-day suspension from the boy’s academic record. This process has only a 3-day window.

“We had other things to do this week than worry about a three-day window for an appeal, a two-hour window for a drug test and my son’s reputation and high school career,” Fritz said.

I’d say.  Like planning and/or attending a funeral?

Byron Nelson High School Principal Linda Parker apologized Friday, September 5. 

Hunter Cooper, 15, was suspended
for wearing this bracelet

Photo: Lezlie Sterling /

This type of zero-tolerance, brain-dead application of rules and regulations makes me physically ill.  Regulations only cover 95% of circumstances, and discretion is the better part of authority.  From a child’s hat that was banned because of a toy soldier he attached to it, to the girl suspended for a butterknife, to the first-grader suspended for sexual harassment, to the boy suspended for wearing a breast-cancer awareness bracelet, and so many more — All of these cases cited “zero-tolerance” policies for the outrageous responses to first-time “offences” by otherwise well-behaved and well-adjusted students.

Where the hell is the actual thought here, people?


Middle-aged, life-long Texan with a substantial chip on her shoulder.

Posted in education

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