I am a little confused as to why it is is not considered a criminal activity to lay down a beating on a kid. Just because it happens in a "schoolyard fight" does not make it any nicer. We can argue as to what sort of punishment should be associated with such an event, but it should be treated as criminal behaviour and should not be considered an acceptable activity.
I agree that the current environment of zero tolerance is extreme and is detrimental to children in many ways. At the same time we should make sure that kids understand that there are expectations about how they interact. Resorting to physical violence should not be laughed off as kids being kids. There should be effective ways to deal with it, but in the end it should not be considered anything other than a criminal act.
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