Rachele Boim, the freshman expelled from Rosewell High School because of a story she wrote in her private journal, has decided she needs a fresh start. Three days after returning to school, Rachele has withdrawn.
Rachele's dad told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Emotionally, she could not cope. She was well received by students. And the faculty were fine. But she is the kid who wrote the story that was interpreted to threaten the life of a teacher, and that stigma was really difficult for her to deal with.
The incident, which included Rachel's being led out of class by an armed officer, has turned her life upside down and that a new school would be best for her.
This has had a profound adverse effect on her and the entire family. We just want her to be able to disappear. She wants to be able to disappear.
As I posted here, Rachel was expelled from Roswell High School after a teacher discovered a fictional story she had written in her personal journal. Rachel’s journal was confiscated by a teacher because Rachel passed it to another student during class. The teacher kept the journal instead of returning the it at the end of the class. The teacher read the journal then gave it to school administrators. Rachele was suspended, than expelled for “inappropriate writings.”
I am saddened by this turn of events. I had hoped that Rachele would be able to handle the notoriety that came with the unjustified overreaction of school officials to her therapeutic writings.
When schools rely upon zero tolerance policies to punish students there are lasting consequences. Students with otherwise outstanding school records are tainted forever with suspensions and expulsions in their records. They are stigmatized as dangerous and troublesome.
Schools should be required to use discretion, commonsense, and fairness in all dealings with students, especially when imposing a punishment.
Zero tolerance is causing too many undesirable and unacceptable consequences. It should be abolished or modified to require consideration of an alleged offender’s intent.