Zero Tolerance policies for schools are bad ideas because it treats the good student and the bad student on the same level — giving neither an incentive to be good students. Here is some school stupidity along those lines.

Kevin Francois gave up his lunch break to talk to his mother, but it ended up costing him the rest of the school year.

Francois, a junior at Spencer High School in Columbus, was suspended for disorderly conduct Wednesday after he was told to give up his cell phone at lunch while talking to his mother who is deployed in Iraq, he said.

His mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, left in January for a one-year tour and serves with the 203rd Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

“This is our first time separated like this,” said Francois, 17, on Thursday.

There are exceptions in life. This is one of them. The school should be ashamed.
The number to the school board is (706) 649-0500

Even more disheartening is when you add it to these facts.

Bates came to Fort Benning with her son from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. She enrolled him at Spencer in August. Since her deployment overseas, Francois, whose father was killed when he was 5 years old, lives with a guardian who has five children in Columbus.

The incident happened when Francois received a call from his mother at 12:30 p.m., which he said was his lunch break. Francois said he went outside the school building to get a better reception when his mother called. A teacher who saw Francois on his phone told him to get off the phone. But he didn’t.