The Human Behavior Podcast

Zero Tolerance or Zero Thought?

June 18, 2024 The Human Behavior Podcast
Zero Tolerance or Zero Thought?
The Human Behavior Podcast
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The Human Behavior Podcast
Zero Tolerance or Zero Thought?
Jun 18, 2024
The Human Behavior Podcast

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Today, we are dissecting the complexities and unintended consequences of zero tolerance policies through real-life examples, starting with the recent tragic shooting at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago. This incident exposes the bureaucratic hurdles and miscommunication that can arise between institutions like Chicago Public Schools and law enforcement, showcasing how rigid policies can delay justice and exacerbate violence instead of preventing it. 

We'll explore the rationale behind zero tolerance policies and scrutinize their efficacy, drawing comparisons to more nuanced approaches within the legal system. Through personal anecdotes and a variety of case studies from education, criminal justice, and corporate ethics, we reveal how the inflexible application of rules often leads to unjust outcomes that fail to consider individual circumstances. By highlighting cases where mandatory policies lead to disproportionate punishments, we make a compelling case for the necessity of human judgment, empathy, and flexibility.

Thank you so much for tuning in, we hope you enjoy the episode and please check out our Patreon channel where we have a lot more content, as well as subscriber only episodes of the show. If you enjoy the podcast, I would kindly ask that you leave us a review and more importantly, please share it with a friend. Thank you for your time and don’t forget that Training Changes Behavior!

Support the Show.

Website: https://thehumanbehaviorpodcast.buzzsprout.com/share

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHumanBehaviorPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehumanbehaviorpodcast/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ArcadiaCognerati

More about Greg and Brian: https://arcadiacognerati.com/arcadia-cognerati-leadership-team/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Today, we are dissecting the complexities and unintended consequences of zero tolerance policies through real-life examples, starting with the recent tragic shooting at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago. This incident exposes the bureaucratic hurdles and miscommunication that can arise between institutions like Chicago Public Schools and law enforcement, showcasing how rigid policies can delay justice and exacerbate violence instead of preventing it. 

We'll explore the rationale behind zero tolerance policies and scrutinize their efficacy, drawing comparisons to more nuanced approaches within the legal system. Through personal anecdotes and a variety of case studies from education, criminal justice, and corporate ethics, we reveal how the inflexible application of rules often leads to unjust outcomes that fail to consider individual circumstances. By highlighting cases where mandatory policies lead to disproportionate punishments, we make a compelling case for the necessity of human judgment, empathy, and flexibility.

Thank you so much for tuning in, we hope you enjoy the episode and please check out our Patreon channel where we have a lot more content, as well as subscriber only episodes of the show. If you enjoy the podcast, I would kindly ask that you leave us a review and more importantly, please share it with a friend. Thank you for your time and don’t forget that Training Changes Behavior!

Support the Show.

Website: https://thehumanbehaviorpodcast.buzzsprout.com/share

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHumanBehaviorPodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehumanbehaviorpodcast/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ArcadiaCognerati

More about Greg and Brian: https://arcadiacognerati.com/arcadia-cognerati-leadership-team/

Speaker 1:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Human Behavior Podcast. Today, we are dissecting the complexities and unintended consequences of zero-tolerance policies through real-life examples, starting with the recent tragic shooting at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago. This incident exposes the bureaucratic hurdles and miscommunication that can arise between institutions like Chicago Public Schools and law enforcement, showcasing how rigid policies can delay justice and exacerbate violence instead of preventing it. We'll explore the rationale behind zero-tolerance policies and scrutinize their efficacy, drawing comparisons to more nuanced approaches within the legal system. Through personal anecdotes and a variety of case studies from education, criminal justice and corporate ethics, we reveal how the inflexible application of rules often leads to unjust outcomes that fail to consider individual circumstances. By highlighting cases where mandatory policies lead to disproportionate punishments, we make a compelling case for the necessity of human judgment, empathy and flexibility. Thank you so much for tuning in. We hope you enjoyed the episode and please check out our Patreon channel, where we have a lot more content as well as subscriber-only episodes of the show. Enjoy the podcast, kindly ask that you leave us a review and, more importantly, please share it with a friend. Thank you for your time and don't forget that training changes behavior. All right, well, good morning, greg, and hello to all of our listeners. We appreciate the continued support and those of you who've been checking out the Patreon site and sharing podcasts with friends. That helps us out a lot in giving us the reviews and stuff that you have. So we do appreciate that and want to get that right off the bat here today.

Speaker 1:

But today's topic is going to be about zero tolerance policies and sort of the reason we're having this is we had a brief Patreon discussion about it and our thoughts were well, we could probably do an entire podcast on it. And then one of our Patreon members their first comment was like you should. Our thoughts were, well, we could probably do an entire podcast on it. And then one of our Patreon members, like their first comment was like you should do, you should do an entire podcast on this. So which is? Which is you know what, what we kind of knew going into it, but there's some, there's a, there's a, there's a lot to unpack with it, and so the reason sort of we're talking about this because we have a bunch of different examples of how you know a zero tolerance policy is, you know, implemented and it has like horrible, catastrophic second and third order effects and there's reasons why people want zero tolerance policies, where their intent, you know, might be great and might make sense. But when it comes to policy level stuff, like you have to, you're not going to ever know completely what it's going to, how it's going to work, but like you can plan for some of these things. And so I want to get into that and answer a few questions about why, as humans, we we come up with these things in the first place, um, and what their, their actual effects are. And we got a bunch of different stories and I'll put links in some of the episode details and, for the Patreon members, I'll put links to all this stuff in a post so you can check it out.

Speaker 1:

But there is one that I want to kind of start with, greg, and it came out of Chicago and there was a shooting at a high school in the Pilsen neighborhood, if anyone is familiar with that area Benito Juarez High School I actually had a buddy I grew up with His mom taught there. Benito Juarez high school I actually had a buddy who grew up with his mom taught there. But it was then the response to it because there was this kind of shooting and, you know, typically in those situations. It's more like a gang type thing, not like a school attack, you know, in the sense of a school shooting it's a school that takes place on, or shooting that takes place on school grounds. But basically the the gist of it is there was problems.

Speaker 1:

You know the chicago public school, you know administrators, teachers, principal, there were like not divulging information to the police for their investigation, and so what they were saying was that well, this, this kind of violates our policy and what we can and cannot share. Um, and you know we're, we're not allowed to give this, we have to protect the students. And the police are sitting there going like, look, we have an ongoing investigation, we need this information. So they you know the Chicago Public School folks were like, hey, you got to talk to our legal department and there was sort of this what seemingly misinterpreted or ambiguous policy where they're only allowed to share certain things with the police in, like you know, in emergent situations and in situations, like you know, a shooting, an active shooter incident or something Right. So it was unclear as to now, this is just an investigation to something that was connected because everyone involved were current and former members of this school.

Speaker 1:

So what fast forward. What happens? It hampers the investigation. They don't end up making arrests until, I think, a couple months later, and in the meantime one of the people they did arrest was involved in another shooting in the meantime. So you know what happens is this slows things down, it's tough for prosecution and then now you're going to trial and they're going to sit there and the defense is going to go well, wait a minute. Why didn't you investigate this further? Why didn't you press charges sooner? Because maybe you didn't have such a great case or what's going on. So it really makes the situation worse.

Speaker 1:

And so in that case they had this sort of zero tolerance policy in place. And you know it's it's a great one. You can read the story. I'll put the link in there because it shows all kinds of different, the different bureaucratic things that happen between you know, in any major metropolitan area to adhere to the policy, because that policy or here it says it right here we can point to it on the wall. That's what it is.

Speaker 1:

And in most of our listeners know this it's just not that simple sometimes. So that's kind of the big one that everyone can kind of jump into and read about if they want, greg, but I want to throw to you, because I've been talking now for a few minutes, but I want to throw to you to kind of get the conversation started about zero tolerance policies and I know you have some other great examples that we're going to talk about throughout here. But I have a few questions that I eventually want to get to of basically, why do we create these zero tolerance policies? What's the intent, do they work and what are the effects of these policies? Like, what do they lead to, sort of at a sort of sociological, societal level in terms of handling these things? So we don't need to answer those right up front right now. We'll get to them, but I want to throw you first, greg.

Speaker 2:

So again, five minutes. I've written an entire page of notes on what you said. So, folks, good morning. And Brian is using the Tommy Boy defense. The guarantee is on the box. So I like that and I also see the irony in the superintendent and the school administrator saying we have to protect the students after two students were shot and two were killed from this incident, from a 16-year-old doing it.

Speaker 1:

Okay, the irony is quite thick on this one.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So the simple answer is that the chief of police and their representative told the school administrator and their safety and security people that the emergency of this shooting warranted their cooperation immediately. And, in fact, what happened? It was so many high ranking fights back and forth that it stretched out over two months. And then even to the point of the coppers the Chicago coppers saying, hey, look, the prosecutors, as a matter of fact, saying we're going to charge these guys with obstruction of justice, and that's ridiculous.

Speaker 2:

Even the attorney for the 16-year-old who did it the 16-year-old that had been kicked out of Benito Juarez Community Academy then fatally shoots two and wounds two other in December of 2022. Now this is stretched to 2024. This just was adjudicated last month. So the kid's attorney even asked hey, listen, if he did it, why did it take two months to arrest? Well, now we know. Okay. So the idea is that that the the policy became more important than helping police identify the shooter and, as Brian said, it created a cascading effect that not only cast a pall over the shooting and the school and the community's recovery from the shooting, but the subsequent arrest of the kid, and then it felt as though it was a weak case. It wasn't a weak case at all. There were a number of witnesses that saw the shooting. There were videotapes of the shooting.

Speaker 1:

Videos yeah.

Speaker 2:

All these other things that were the shooting.

Speaker 2:

There were videotapes of the shooting Videos, yeah, all these other things that were going on, but the mere fact that the number one cork, the stopper that was in the flow, was the school going well, we're not sure if we can do it.

Speaker 2:

There's so many protections for schools and specifically when a school thinks that there's dangerous intent, they can go so much more broadly than merely reasonable suspicion or probable cause allows a regular copper to go on the street, brian. And so this is one that is emblematic of why we don't have or why you and I personally, I should say, don't support zero tolerance policies. Now, we know that they still exist and we know that there's some around, and I have horror stories about some that I personally witnessed, but this one just epitomizes what could go horribly wrong. And, brian, you got to remember what do you think the families of those dead kids or shot kids thought when they know what's going on and this kid is still out in the community. You get what I'm trying to say. And here we got this infighting that's raising to the level of of charges, and it's on the news every night that that had to be just horrific.

Speaker 1:

So, so, zero tolerance policies are big in schools, especially. Like you haven't been all different areas, but you know they're, you know, especially when it comes to school safety or they're trying to keep kids safe and prevent school shootings. So they have to have certain measures in place, which I get it. So the first question is why do we have these policies? It's, the intent is, of course, like to, we want to make, you know, the school safer. That's what we're trying to do with this and we have to handle things in a certain manner and certain behavior is not going to be tolerated. In fact, there's zero tolerance. But when you do that, it, it, it. It really oversimplifies the issue. Uh, you know, in my opinion, and, and what it does is it takes away any sort of discretion that someone locally on the ground can, can make and have, and that's that's a big problem, because it's kind of, um, that's actually uh, uh, the opposite of of how our legal system works. Right, I mean the point of our legal systems. Yes, you have a clearly defined laws or statutes or policies, but you know the, the, the application of those and the interpretation of those are based on the specific circumstances of that case. So there's going to be commonalities for all of them and then they're going to have their own unique elements and it's up to those people on the ground to say well, this is how we should apply this in this situation, because that allows for the lowest level of decision making. It allows for that discretion to take into account a number of factors.

Speaker 1:

But the second you throw that zero tolerance. Well, you just did something and technically it violates this. So we're going to apply this law to you that was never meant to be applied to you in this situation and to me it's like zero tolerance policies are lazy. And I got to correct you. You did say we don't have any. Zero tolerance policies are lazy. And I got to correct you. You did say we don't, you know, have any. You know, zero tolerance policy. We don't support that. We have a zero tolerance policy on drug testing, for exactly.

Speaker 1:

We will never tolerate any drug test we were taught we do not tolerate drug testing in this organization no, we don't take that lightly, by the way but but does it kind of make sense to you?

Speaker 1:

greg? Is like it takes away the power of those on the ground and and and those people who know the ground truth the best. Are they always going to be right? No, but are they going to be right more than they're wrong typically? I mean, you know what I'm saying, as long as you have a well thought out plan and policy and they know how to implement it. Because once you just write something down and it's a checklist and it's like, well, they did this, okay. Well then this has to happen, will you? Okay, so cool, I just turned my brain off. Why don't you just have a fucking robot do my job? Because where's the human in the loop in this?

Speaker 2:

Human in the loop is an incredible distinction. Plus, there's empathy and compassion. The law is written with it. The law isn't blind. Justice is not blind when it comes to individuals and their antics, and sometimes people make silly mistakes and we have to be able to walk that back, and I'll give you an example of how ludicrous it is. Go to any store or any restaurant and you'll see a sign that says absolutely no dogs allowed below it. What does it always say? Well, except for service dogs, okay. Well then, wait a minute. You get what I'm trying to say, what you're doing, if you're walking back in now, now I could go on, because there's so many of these, because you can't do this, yeah, but in this instance, that's okay. Well then, don't have it in the first place, because what? The what happened is the knee jerk reaction to a specific incident created such a maelstrom that everybody wanted to jump on board and go. Well, we'll never tolerate this again without clear heads, thinking through what some of the after effects would be. And I'll give you a very brief story, and then one that specifically targets yours.

Speaker 2:

So I remember pulling over a car traffic infraction, but that usually leads to bigger things. The stop was on eight miles just off of Dequindre in Detroit and I walk up in a car and you can smell some weed and the kid had a little stone they called it back in the day with a little one hit and he was doing it on his way home from work and he was coming from one job going to another job and Michigan was zero tolerance back then Zero marijuana, zero narcotic paraphernalia. Go directly to jail, do not pass go. So the kid had a car seat in the back. I asked him about that. He's a young father, mom's at home with the kids. She's also got a job. They got to do the handoff before he goes back later. And Brian, it was a horror story and I'm going to hook this kid. Do you get what I'm trying to say from misdemeanor possession of narcotic paraphernalia and marijuana? So what happened? Somehow, gravity, you know, entropy occurred in that stone went up on a building near the site and the weed fell out and we called it Windy City back in the day, where it blew under the car and it was unrecoverable. And so, lesson learned, the kid wasn't a gosh darn dangerous felon. You know, nothing happened.

Speaker 2:

Now, fast forward 20 years. I make a traffic stop up. And I got to be careful with the attribution as part of a drug team here in Colorado and it's three kids and they're partying their asses off, and they were going to the Air Force Academy and the kids were from the Air Force Academy, know what the standards are there, know that they're going to be pilots, know that they're going to do this and it's their first year there and they're up there and they got more dope in the car I think the dope weighed more than the car, and so the incident was then. You know, I had to take that another zero tolerance situation. I had to take that and measure that against what I had done before in my career and said you know, this is unsafe at any speed. I got to tell somebody about this and so that's a different standard. And somebody right now is going to go oh you, dichotomous bitch, I can't believe that you did that. No, I mean there's one situation that these kids were out of control and they needed to be reined in and there was a whole bunch of other policies that they discredited. You know that they had sworn to. That's a completely different situation. Is this poor guy? That was because I didn't feel that zero tolerance could be applicable in both situations equally, and so I was stymied. I was on the ground going okay, what do I do in these situations? Now, the law is very clear Both people go to jail, both people have the situation. I just didn't feel that way.

Speaker 2:

And one more quick one. So you have Madison, wisconsin, and you have a security guard copper that's working for the schools, a private contractor that's working for the Madison School District and his name is Marlon Anderson n-word because marlin happens to be black in the hallways. And marlin stops him and says in his response hey, it's very disrespectful you to use that word. And says the same word that the kid uses. Back to the kid and says it's disrespectful, it's hurtful, please don't do that anymore. And they wrap up marlin, the security guard, yeah, and they fire him from his job for using it, because it's expressly written in the policy of the school that no one shall, and this is the punishment when somebody uses it. So, brian that look, now I've created a teeter-totter and now you've got unequally weighted things on both sides of it and one kid sitting up in the air going, hey, what the fuck? You know I mean, think about how silly that feels.

Speaker 1:

And, and you know, someone will also come in and say well, you, you chose, based on, you know, whatever reason to enforce these laws in this different manner from this group than you did for this group. So you're biased against that and and it's like the no, which that's not. That's not a ridiculous argument, right? I'm not saying that that doesn't have. Yes, that has absolutely happened, especially in the history of our country before, where certain people were, you know, uh, prosecuted or you know more than others, and we, there it's.

Speaker 1:

It's a brutal, ugly, horrible, awful thing, yes, and it still permeates in some places. It's just not what it used to be. But the thing is you, when, when you don't allow for that you're taking. You're actually my biggest problem with all these is it's like you're dumbing everyone down, right, you're making us all dumber. You're saying, well, you can't make that decision, greg, you need to get higher approval or we have to do this, and you know what. I'm going to come in and we're going to show you exactly how to do your job and what situations these work for. But the problem is, it's not how real life is, there's. No, the law has to be cut and dry, right, it has to be explicit and say this is what it means, but the interpretation and the application of it it has there's complexity in it. Like you just gave an example of two completely different situations but with the same law, how can you tell me it's applied differently? Like those are. Those are the same thing, it's like? Well, no, it's not.

Speaker 1:

It really isn't I mean exactly well, and there's no better way to look at it than than even like the criminal justice uh system and how we apply different sentencing. When they did, oh, minimum sentencing standards, it's like, okay, so you just took someone in their first, first offense for whatever this is, because it was crack cocaine and not regular powdered cocaine, and someone, when they're writing the law, didn't do the math correctly, and now that says a higher punishment, literally from a clerical error in computation, and now that's in law, but this is what you have to do. It's like, well, law, but this is what you have to do. It's like, well, what, the like? You're taking away the, the basic human ability, that what, what, what has kept, you know, society together for as long as humans have been around was this individual way of assessing a situation, having the learned folks apply things and go well, based on what we know from the past. This is what's codified in the law and and this is what the law and this is what tradition is, and this is how we should apply it, because we don't just expel someone right away from society. We go okay, we got to give them a chance. Now, if it's the severity of the situation or the crime is enough. Then, yeah, we say, hey, you got to go. You're fucking done, dude, you can't do that.

Speaker 1:

But this is my biggest overwhelming problem with any type of zero tolerance policy. You brought a great one right there. If a school policy, of what someone said look for examples where zero tolerance policies are effective. And I had a hard time because every time and maybe it was just not giving the right type of Google prompts, but like I'm looking in there, going like, when is this? You know, I keep, I tried so many different searches and it all popped up. Like everything that popped up was, you know that that another example of zero tolerance policy gone wrong. And so it's like, why do we have this?

Speaker 1:

My biggest thing is there's plenty of evidence. You can go look through there. There's people done meta analysis. I'll have all the links, especially for our Patreon members, of just all of this evidence showing that, well, these really don't work. And then not just in like school settings, but in like HR type settings. And then not just in like school settings, but in like HR type settings and which is kind of like what you gave an example of yes, it took place in a school, but that would have been the same if it was a workplace or something like that. Right, but? But you know, why is this need? Why do we have this desire to do that? Where does this come from? And I'm going to kind of like asking your opinion on the matter and why, why we do this societally, or why lawmakers and policymakers go well, we're just going to and why do people demand that type of response?

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, and I would say that's a great question first of all, but I would say there's layers of the answer. So anytime that you hear Jude's law inside joke, marian's law, this type of thing, when people name something okay, that shows that, yeah, we understand somebody died and you were hurt and it was horrible. But anytime we personalize the law, we stand in the face of these type of zero tolerance policies that you must do this or you shall do that. Now, some of them refer to the greater good. For example, if you're going to be a teacher of junior high school kids, you should have a security clearance or whatever. Now, that's fine, it's not zero tolerance. That's a policy that you could logically look at and go, oh, I see the reason for that. But then saying something my way, or the highway, are you doing it for the right reasons?

Speaker 2:

If somebody demonstrates intent, there's already laws against that. For example, bringing a school on the campus, whether there's a sign or not, you know that's a law. So the person can't say I didn't know that it was illegal to carry a shotgun into a shopping center or those type of things, right. So what happens is we think that the more laws are on the books, that we can hold it up and go. Look what I did during my tenure. The people asked for it and I did it. And guess what? Sometimes it's, it's just ludicrous and and we as humans think well, that makes me feel better because I can point to the, the guarantee on the box you get what I'm trying to say, and hold that thing up. So all of the like, like uh um, speed limits and and different signage.

Speaker 1:

When you become a cop, you'll learn stuff you never knew, Like if you wondered how many feet and how many signs and no parking and soft shoulder and all that other stuff. All that's regulated.

Speaker 2:

It's very specific and once you start getting into that, you understand that we're a litigious society and we're a society of written standards and policies and rules. And we're a society of written standards and policies and rules. And so this is just another example, brian, of that overzealous thing saying you know one sign's good, let's put five. And it's not true. You'll have a link on. And folks, there's scientific experiment after experiment and legal scholars writing in about it, and that's how Brian and I started. The argument is saying, hey, what do the legal scholars think, what do the other people think? And just like Scared Straight, zero tolerance doesn't work and it was really really hard to find any instance where there was a positive feedback from it. As a matter of fact, all of the instances I found were negative.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's plenty of examples of negative To me. It's really my biggest problem with anytime you do that. It's just an oversimplification of protocol, procedure or policy. We're just okay. Well, here's the thing we can point to. But really, like you said, the zero tolerance stuff is something that it's obvious. You don't need to have a rule at your workplace saying you know, no smoking crack in the break room, like that's we have one, we have a zero.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I mean, you don't, it becomes. It becomes obvious and apparent, right. And so my biggest problem with all of these is you take away any sort of you know like, like I mentioned is you take away any sort of you know like, like I mentioned, this discretionary you know way of applying policy and procedure, and everyone's scared of that, and we're scared of that at scale, but we all want to do it individually, right? So we want to. We want to micromanage how things are going to happen and what books are in the school. Like we can't even figure out the best way to educate children, right? We haven't even crossed that, we haven't even checked that box yet, but we're already saying here's what you should be teaching them or here's what you should. It's like, well, wait, we don't even. We don't even we haven't even agreed on on how the best you know way of going about doing this is, let alone the specifics of this subject and this thing, but, but, but what I I'm getting at is, like we have this.

Speaker 1:

Like, as humans, we don't like to be individually, we hate being micromanaged. Everyone's like just let me do my job. How many times, like dude, I got this boss. I gotta go to a report. Everyone complains about their process at their work or things that they're micromanaged and and they can't ever do it. And they you know they get shit from their boss and everyone hates boss. Are you a boss, are you a manager? Are you a leader? Then we have to get those right. Everyone hates that shit.

Speaker 1:

Yet when it comes to these policies and laws, people demand it. Well, we have zero tolerance. We cannot do this. It's like all right, man, those two ways of thinking they conflict with one another. It's like you have to allow a certain amount of leeway and a certain amount of discretionary ability to you. As long as you have oversight, then, then it's okay. I mean, you can go to like government, especially like military examples where you know they put down all right, hey, we're gonna allow lower level units to have more discretion about how they spend training money or what equipment they buy, or something like this. Right, so you didn't have to go through the long process and it's faster. Acquisition, it's faster.

Speaker 1:

This, well, it's just like the whatever, the, the PPP loans, or something like what? What happens when you, when you just allow that to occur? Or is there going to be fraud, waste and abuse? Yes, because if you don't put in the oversight of it, if you don't put in, you know, these limiting factors, then then that's the issue. But but no one wants to go through the details of what that is, because it's complex and it's tough and those are tough calls, and so it's like I always just see it sort of as this sort of dichotomous way that humans are right, we, we hate it personally, individually, but societally we know we need to sort of give up some of our freedoms or agencies to live in a society.

Speaker 1:

Right, you have to. There's always a balance between, you know, security and safety and civil liberty, like that. That that's all that's, that's constantly in flux. Like the more laws we have, well, the less freedoms we I mean right, and so it's one of these things that I just, anytime I see something zero tolerance, it's like. It's like a little, like I get like a little jab in the stomach, get the cortisol drop Like God, like why are you doing that?

Speaker 1:

Just, you know, you say you want to invest in your people and you want to nurture them and get them better, but yet you restrict them to these specific policies that they have no control over. Well then, you're not investing in your people, you're not putting trust in your people. You know what I'm saying and that's the biggest thing too, out of, like, the HR examples for the private sector workplace came out and it's like, look, these zero tolerance policies don't work. What works is having open communication, understanding of the application of policies, teamwork, buildingwork, like building a trust in your people with leadership. Like, if you have that, you don't need a zero tolerance policy, because everyone, some of the things are already implied, right, I mean it, just they bother me.

Speaker 2:

I counter with a parallel argument that there are amendments to the US Constitution and that is because learned people sat down and said man, we got to fix this. And there are Colorado revised statutes, for example, for the law, and revised means that we went back and looked at these and these are better laws than those were. And it's not knee jerk and it's not a quick reaction from it. It's where people took time. Look, I say this a lot when we're in person to to other people uh, lysergic acid, diethylmide lsd, was legal in the 60s because there was no laws against it and people built it and until somebody came together and say, wow, there's a lot more deadly and detrimental effects to this, and then they had enacting. So what has to happen is people like, look, if the dike is leaking, you got to stick a finger. Ok, I get that, but those knee-jerk stopgap methods have to become corrected and codified over time with research, with research and diligence. And we're not doing that. We're saying, ok, well, you know, this place has a lot of gun violence. Well, we got to have a shot spotter and they changed their name, by the way. And then this school has this, so we got to build, you know, a bigger wall and a bigger fence and a bigger this, and then let's add dogs, and then let's add dogs with bees in their mouth. That's the exact thinking that got us here with this discussion on zero tolerance. And listen to me if you're hearing my voice. We're not saying that all zero tolerance is wrong. We're saying that we're really really trying to find one or two policies that save stuff. And when somebody's going to counter it's always school shootings Somebody's going to counter well, we saved the school shooting.

Speaker 2:

There was just a caper where the FBI had been following a guy January, february, march and just arrested him because he was going to go and shoot up a concert, wanted to start a race war before elections, all this other stuff. And when you read through that thing, that needed to happen. We need to do that. But there was no zero tolerance policy in there. What it was is this nutcase was making threats and this stuff, so the investigation led to this other and threats and this stuff, so the investigation led to this other.

Speaker 2:

That's called due process and due process trumps all those other things. When policies trump logic, we have a problem. We have a big problem because then it takes due process out of the equation, and now we can no longer see a situation clearly that that's like let's only enact laws after a school shooting. Oh, wait a minute, we know there's going to be another school shooting. We know there's going to be another Pulse nightclub shooting. It's just a matter of how we are as a society. So if we're going to enact and do research, now's the time. No better time than the present. And there's things out there that are so dichotomous, like a school policy on the message on your clothing or the one that I sent you about Morgan Stanley, those right.

Speaker 2:

Here. What you have is you have somebody's idea of future. Well, listen, I'm imposing this restriction on you because I think of it might cause something in the future. Well, wait a minute. Okay, I'm all for predictive analysis, but I can't charge you for a crime you haven't committed. And so, assuming that I'm seeing this crime set up the Morgan Stanley one, brian, now, that was nine years ago, I think, if I'm correct. But the idea is it wasn't for trading violations or client complaints. What happened is their biggest private wealth brokers, the biggest producers that they had at Morgan Stanley, were engaged in impersonal conduct and, according to the people that invoked the zero tolerance that their misbehavior off duty was probably going to spill over at work.

Speaker 2:

So we better nip it in the bud now by creating this, and what they did is they didn't have a tangible look. It's cause and effect. But you have to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause. You have to have demonstrations of intent. I can't say that, hey, we're going to put an intersection here because one day this city is going to expand. So we're going to put lights here and safety now, because in 27 years some kid's going to be skateboarding and he might hit his head. You don't do that. That's not how we work. So there's a balance. Again back to the teeter-totter. There's a balance and that balance is always precarious. And if we're going to write it down and put it on a sign, Brian, we should be more diligent in the research.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think this is ultimately lazy is what it is Like when you just say that this is what we're going to do means I don't want to take the time to go through this, because you know, even with like different, different military examples for different requirements for certain things, there's here's the requirements, but you can get a waiver if you don't meet those requirements and it's like, well, why? Because that's someone then taking the time to go. Well, what is it? What is it about your unique situation on why you should still be allowed here or able to do this job, even though you don't meet this requirement or you did something before in your past? And you investigate it, you look at it and then you give a thumbs up or thumbs down and you're not going to be right A hundred percent of the time, but no one's ever right A hundred percent of the time. But the idea is you have a process in there to go well, this is an exception, right, there's exceptions to certain rules, as there should be. I mean, you can't, you can't have this cut and dry way of doing it, and it's just.

Speaker 1:

I think it's, and this is the effect it has is then it permeates kind of societally and within an organization, and then we just get lazy with everything and then we just go well, I don't want to deal with this. There's all this pressure societally to handle this problem or whatever. So we'll just say this is the zero tolerance policy. It's like, well, you're going to screw someone over and you're screw someone over pretty bad. And then sometimes they're probably going to come back and sue you and you're going to lose out in the long run and you and you just like. It's the dumbing down of of us as humans.

Speaker 2:

Yep, and the Leah Morrison at Nichols middle school is a perfect example of this. So you can't choose when you're going to impose a very strict violation like that. And this goes right back to are both of those dope cases the same? So he goes to school at Nichols Middle School in Massachusetts wearing the there are only two genders shirt and the school says take it off. And he says I'm not taking it off. So they said you got to take it off or you're going home. So he goes in the other room and he puts tape over their only part and, taking away the two genders, they go not close enough. It's exhibiting such a hate speech, according to their dress code, violation which stated must not state implied, depict hate speech, imagery targets, right? So they're saying this one is so profoundly hate speech that you got to take it off or go home.

Speaker 2:

Now this kid has a history of wearing shirts that are always talking about. First Amendment, second Amendment, you know these rights and stuff. And the idea is that his First Amendment right to free speech shall not be infringed, right? The idea is that his argument is I've got all these kids for different LGBTQ+, different things that they do at home, different, you know, non-binary, whatever context that they're wearing the shirts for. And the teacher said that's not our job. Our job is to enforce the violation of the dress code and so you have to take that off. So he's looking for parity. He's saying wait a minute, if that's okay, why isn't mine okay?

Speaker 2:

And the school says in their answer to this because he recently lost the case against it because their local version of the Supreme Court said hey, wait a minute, this one doesn't stand because it's in a violation of the dress code and was going to cause unlawful just imminent unlawful activity because I'm wearing it. So they thought the longer that he wore that the other kids in school would get amped up and sooner or later a fight would break out. Brian, there again I'm saying wait a minute, what are we talking about? My standard was this this guy is doing nothing wrong, he's just going home. Was this this guy's doing nothing wrong? He's just going home? He made a violation of a misdemeanor ordinance. It shouldn't cost him the rest of his life and his job and going to jail and thousands of dollars he couldn't afford.

Speaker 2:

These other kids, they knew better. It was part of their code, their ethical code, that they took. Now here we got a kid that's wearing a shirt, and you know what, if you're going to send him home, I get it, okay, that's okay. But then reap the whirlwind when it comes back around with all the other instances. Now somebody is going to say, well, that's kind of a weak example. No, it's not, because the policy is clearly designed to keep those kids safer at school, because they shouldn't have to contend with this shit. But then if you're going to have that policy, it's got to be equal across the board. How?

Speaker 1:

are you going to?

Speaker 2:

enforce that how.

Speaker 1:

Well, that and that, and that's where these, these zero tolerance policies come from. It's not from something obvious like yeah, you can't bring a gun to school. Like okay, like that's, we get it. But it comes from these cases and it's someone wearing a t shirt with the same, and there's countless all the way up to the Supreme Court cases. You know that, going back, you know there's there's a lot of legal precedent for that and it free speech is. You know, especially as a public school, because they work for the public school as part of the state they have. You know they don't have as much leeway. Let's say it's like a private school.

Speaker 1:

Private school can just tell you like no, you can't wear that, get that on whatever they can make up their own rules, right, but, but it's very different in a public school, and so those are the types of cases that people don't want to jump into, and so we just go. You know what? Fine, no one's wearing shirts with any message on it, and it's like well, like, like. So I can't wear a shirt that says I love this school, I love my parents, or something you know. I mean like that.

Speaker 2:

Because it would be a classification, it would be a group Exactly, exactly, classification it would be a group, exactly, exactly, and that's where the laziness comes in.

Speaker 1:

And they don't want to have those difficult conversations when, in fact, like that's where those difficult conversations should be had, at a local level, at the school, with those kids doing that Like, ok, well, you're showing support for one issue, I'm showing support for another issue. That's that's fine, like, but but we don't want to, we don't want to. You know, it's, it's we. We can't piss off these people because they'll sue us. It's like, well, then this person's gonna sue you. Like, just just deal with the problem and stop, stop relegating things to an oversimplified solution and and because it's gonna come back up again. It's not like, oh, we just get through this one case and we're good. No, all cases inform other future cases, and so therefore, like you kind of got to deal with it now, and that's that's my, my biggest issue with all of this. It's just like, well, let's just make it simple. Well, every time you do that, we get a little bit dumber. Like, every time we do those things, we don't have those conversations. One it's bad for the kids. We don't have those conversations. One it's bad for the kids.

Speaker 1:

Man, they, they, that, they're, they're the best chance to learn that at that age than they are when there are adults and they're set in their ways. Right, because that and like we use it as a teachable moment. I mean it's a school. Everything, literally everything that happens throughout the day is a fucking teachable moment. In some way, shape or form, it's, it's a school. They're kids, so show, show them everything you know.

Speaker 1:

I mean like that, that's that's the thing is like, why can't they learn then? Because they're they're going to probably interpret it better than the parents are I. I just because they don't, they're not thinking of oh, I have kids here and I'm worried about this and I have this life experience. They're just like what? What's the issue? They're literally a clean slate. Oh, my, my God, I don't see. Tell me what the problem is, cause you're teaching me and we're teaching them that, just to oversimplify everything, and you know what? Your thing doesn't matter as much as that thing and this thing is well, it's different and it's like well, if you can't explain it to a kid at school, then then you don't know the issue very well. That's the way I look at it.

Speaker 2:

Well and look, the reason I brought up Marlon Anderson with the Madison School District and Nichols Middle School and Liam Morrison is they're both sides of the same coin. Somebody's going to think that they're both sides of a spectrum. They're not. Okay. I agree with having policies and dress codes because if they're equally applied they lessen the risk that might go along with threats of violence and those type of mayhem that could cause that happen at school, Because kids are kids and they don't understand things and they'll act out and act up. Look at this whole thing with the college campuses. Now, I don't know much about this issue, but I'm willing to fight and die for it. Ok, so I agree with that about this issue, but I'm willing to fight and die for it, Okay, so I agree with that.

Speaker 2:

But what happened is the policy went to the point where Marlon Anderson is fired for telling the kid not to use the word that the kid used. So that's what I'm trying to say. I think we have to be careful of the extremes. And here we are again with overreach in the policy, where we're saying you know, the Morrison argument is look, I only wore it because everybody else is wearing something pro this or pro that and the school didn't say anything. So to that end, I agree with the argument and I always side with free speech. But I do also understand that the school has the right to enforce a dress code. So don't think that we're giving a mixed message here. What we're saying is case by case basis and you're saying well, I don't have time well, and and and this is why we go with demonstrations of intent are more important.

Speaker 1:

Totally agree of like what, you know what I mean. Like what is your intent behind doing this? Like, yes, you know, and, and that's that's the big thing if you came in intending to piss off a group of people, well, you're a fucking asshole. Like, just just say you're, I mean support what you want to support. But like, are you directing something towards someone? And when you get into, just what is your intent behind something? That's even easier with kids, because most times like, well, I don't, they probably didn't even think that far into it. So it's like, okay, you know what I mean. Like you didn't put a whole lot of thought into this. You just you know, which is okay. You're just being a child, got it like you, like you're a teenager, you're this.

Speaker 2:

Trying to figure things out.

Speaker 1:

Sure, you're figuring shit out, you get leeway in there versus if you're a 30-year-old person walking into a place at work and with something very specific, right, and when I focus on intent. But it cuts through all of these situations Like what is the intent of this policy then? So, if I go back to the original story from the chicago public schools, what was the intent? Well, the intent, the policy, was one we want to protect students, but there's certain circumstances, uh, like an active shooter situation. So they took it literally like, well, this isn't an active shooter, it's like, but it's like no, no, no, but but it this affects the safety and welfare of the students and it involves students at the school. We, we still need to apply it here. And they're like well, that's not what it says in the law. It's like you know what it is. That's the intent behind it. That's the intent behind what this is.

Speaker 2:

And the speed of this action is essential, exactly, exactly Because it's rare, Brian, because it doesn't happen every day. That's the whole point behind those type of laws, right.

Speaker 1:

And I think you can even start with that when you're crafting what that policy is going to be. It's like, what is your intent with this policy? And you can spell that out. And then, once you have the intent clear, you can then figure out well, how does that work here at our school or here at our office, what does that mean at this location?

Speaker 1:

And then we can sit there and go well, let's come up with some potential situations that we might run into and this is not an this is not like some exhaustive, meticulous process that you you know what I mean Like you can sit there with people, go okay, what are we likely going to see with this? And play it out, and when you do that, it helps you craft what the intent behind your message is, and it creates the intent behind the policy, and I think that's everything. And then it's the same thing with determining what this person meant by that, by the message, clothing or by the threat that they made.

Speaker 2:

What is their precisely, or their actions?

Speaker 1:

right, right, those are all hugely important yeah, because otherwise it gets into like I don't care what the message is on the shirt, necessarily. What are you just trying to be provocative? Are you trying to be evocative? Are you trying to just piss people off? Whatever the message or the group that you're identifying with, it's like that's fine, you get to be that as a human, you get to be part of all kinds of different groups. But what is your intent with the action you just took? And it helps clarify it, because then I can use that, no matter what side of the issue it is, and it helps me just maintain some clarity. Are you exercising your First Amendment right, or are you here to start a riot? You know what?

Speaker 2:

I mean, those are two different things, right.

Speaker 2:

So I have a predictive analysis tool that could be applied in this situation. The lowest level argument is we have a policy against that. Totally agree, as long as it's uniformly applied. Then the second thing is somebody goes okay, it can't be uniformly applied because this is a one-off situation. Okay, agreed, let's bring it in. Is this the proper venue to have this fight? Is this a fight that we should have in front of the students on this day at that time? That might hurt somebody needlessly. Why don't we take this to the superintendent's office? We bring in, you know, the voices that need to be heard on this issue and we go in this instance. Now, that's something that everybody is going to go for, because look what does due process say? You have your day in court, you have your time. That's not what we were doing. And, brian, I just want to make sure, if we have a chance, that we cover the Scotty Scheffler incident, because here's a perfect example of a guy demonstrating intent over and, over and over, and then a policy is used to circumvent everything.

Speaker 1:

Can you give us a recap of that one?

Speaker 2:

So Louisville PD OK, they're investigating a fatal accident right outside where the golfing is having one of their biggest events ever. Number one ranked golfer, scotty Scheffler, is on the way and he's running a little late, so all traffic is blocked. To circumvent the blockade, they've got at the fatal drives in oncoming traffic for a significant amount of time, violating all these laws and rules for safety, and he gets pulled over by, stopped by a couple of coppers, including a detective that doesn't have his body camera on For whatever reason. He doesn't have his body camera on. He tells Scheffler hey, you got to stop the car, you got to get out of the car. Scheffler drives off, dragging the copper for a distance, and what happened is, after all, the press going.

Speaker 2:

But that's Scotty Scheffler. Hey, there's a different standard. And clearly Scotty felt it was a different standard. What happens is the Louisville PD comes in and goes hey, we have a uniform policy that says that thou shalt do this and he didn't do it. So we're dropping the charges against Scheffler. And it's hard, brian, to look at that one and go wait a minute you know, the fix was in early on this one right.

Speaker 2:

And so you know, the cop gets reprimanded and they drop the charges. And think of those. If it was you or I, would the justice have been applied the same way? And I think that's what we all want. We want our day in court, we want our due process, and you know what, if we do something completely boneheaded like that, we should expect to get pulled over. And the idea is, you know, scheffler made some off-the-cuff comment. Folks, do your homework. Read the article where he said yeah, I knew I hit somebody, but I didn't know it was a cop. Okay, wait a minute.

Speaker 1:

Those demonstrations were building from the beginning. What the fuck is that?

Speaker 2:

Your Honor, that's the boys will be boys defense.

Speaker 1:

I didn't know. He was an old, feeble man. When I pushed him down I thought he was a kid. When I fired the shot at his chest.

Speaker 2:

I wasn't quite sure that the bullet would penetrate. And what we do sometimes, brian, is we placate things like like uh, leah Morrison, good on you that you're thinking about the constitutional amendments and you know your first amendment right and everything else, but school's not the place to wear that flag. You get what I'm trying to say. Take it out of there. And so, while I side, uh, with the Massachusetts court, my fear is that it's going to go higher, because it's an issue that we all worry about, our free speech and sometimes, brian, we fight for free speech even if it's a shitty argument. And and and that hurts me too, because when, when we start thinking about that, people don't understand the effect that something like free speech can have on it.

Speaker 2:

I actually wrote down if I can find my note quickly about that that you know, gosh, darn it. You know, when we take those things in, brian, what we don't think is we don't think of the impact that our words have, and we have to understand that when we take a look at the way the law is, we can't make those short. Yeah, I'm never going to be able to find my my note. We're not going to be able to understand the effects of that knee jerk reaction to a one off incident. And that's also why I'm saying when we name them, we name them and it's Megan's law OK.

Speaker 2:

I get that, but. But what we're doing is we're started bottlenecking it at this point in a series of facts that may never happen. Look, we all want the same thing we don't want crime, we don't want terrorism, we don't want to be raped, we don't want our property stolen. All that, and I think there's plenty of precedent that shows that we do those things well. It's these things where, when the light shines on them, they're a little bit different, like the Scheffler thing.

Speaker 2:

I haven't followed the caper because we've been busy, but, brian, did he issue an apology? At least Did he say hey, look, kids, this isn't the way that you want to do it. And why didn't we get all the information? Because he's famous, Because he's a hell of a golfer, and that's the same thing that I'm. So going back and fixing a broken law is great. The same thing with Benito Juarez Community Academy. Okay, they had to know that they were skating on thin ice and violating the CPD the Chicago PD openly like that. What did that do? Did that restore any faith in the community or in the school, or in the cops? You see what I'm trying to say. So those long lasting effects from a short term decision, brian, are some of the most disastrous and we really have to. We really have to focus on those. Yeah, we don't focus on those. Yeah, we don't?

Speaker 1:

you know, I don't know. It's like we, you can do both, you can. You can think globally or strategically and then act locally or tactically. Right, you, you can do that. You can say, okay, I have to make a decision on the specific case, but I have to take into account the overarching effect it will have, not just on the specific case but overall, absolutely. And like you got to balance that out and I think that helps with a little bit of understanding on how to approach these issues is, yes, we have to. You know people are upset about this thing, so let's deal with it. But but how does that fit into the overall big picture?

Speaker 1:

And is this the one we want to go all in on, or is this something that's going to pop? You know what I mean. It just to to, sort of, you know, think, think strategically, but but act tactically, you know, is what I would say. Or decide tactically, you know, that's kind of kind of how I look at it.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, and we also, brian, I think we also have to take a look at outdated concepts. Like I'm ambivalent about the scales of justice because I absolutely love the law you know me but when we take a look at that, we've forgotten the message. Justice is blind was intended to say that it's going to be equally applied, no matter how much money you have, no matter the color of your skin or your religion. Then we see the scales. Well, the old standard was the preponderance of evidence. The more evidence you had, that tended to show one side over the other meant that you would win, and we know that's wrong. So now it goes down to case-by-case basis putting yourself in the shoes at that time at that place, and then looking at evidence, artifacts and evidence that support. And then we have bench trials and jury trials. So that thing which we all understand. Listen, you know, when we get the balance out, then it's going to be great. We know that it's been problematic.

Speaker 2:

So here's a time in our lives where we could make a big change and restore some order by going back and saying, hey, these capers are important. Look, you know what you and I do. We pick out capers and talk about it for an hour that nobody's ever heard of. I'm saying why haven't you heard of these cases? Why aren't you more outraged that it took two years for Benito Juarez Community Academy and the CPD to come to a realization that things needed to be fixed? Brian, on both sides, like the after action review, you know that became a contentious situation. How can it? These are all things that are meant to make us safer and and uh, lubricate the, the wheels of justice, and they, they did exactly the opposite, and that gives me pause yeah, yeah, no, I, I agree there's.

Speaker 1:

There's kind of a a lot of different cases we brought up as examples in the episode and you know, just just you know, I think it's an easy way out. If you want to hit the easy button, sure, create a zero tolerance policy. It's going to come back and bite you in the ass. But hey, you didn't have to do any work.

Speaker 1:

Right now, I mean, that's that's, that's my big thing it's like they're they're complex, they're tough, but they're not outside of the span of someone's control or what you can do at a very simple level Like this isn't don't, don't overthink it when it comes to this stuff. I mean, just what's the best way to enforce this for where I'm at right now? How does that fit into the bigger picture? And and you know, is this, is this a trend or something? I'm going to see how, how, how much weight do we have to put on this case?

Speaker 1:

You know, what I mean and and I agree, is this the one we want to go all in on? You know what I mean, because it it might not be and and just that knee-jerk reaction again is rarely really a good one. But, um, we appreciate everyone for tuning in. There's a lot more on the patreon site. You can go ahead and check the links in the episode details. Go over there. There's all kinds of different content that we have on there. We deep dive some of these topics, we give different examples and behavior breakdowns. All that stuff is all on there for you to check out. And then also you can reach out to us at the human behavior podcast at gmailcom, and we appreciate all of you tuning in and for supporting the show. So thank you so much and don't forget that training changes behavior.

Unintended Consequences of Zero-Tolerance Policies
Flaws in Zero Tolerance Policies
Complexity of Zero Tolerance Policies
Flaws in School Dress Code Policies
Importance of Intent in Policy Enforcement
Navigating Complex Legal and Policy Issues