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Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.15.21 PMHere’s one of the best potential examples of zero tolerance lunacy and adult irresponsibility I’ve yet seen. Via Fox News: 

Though he’s been applauded as a hero on social media, Pines has now reportedly been kicked off the football team by the school, which says it has a zero-tolerance policy on fighting.

Fighting. Was Cody Pines actually fighting?

A California high school student is being praised around the country after a viral video…showed him stopping a purported bully’s attack on a partially blind classmate.

The attacker, who was seen punching the visually impaired teen in the head during a lunch-hour fight, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge and released to his parents.

The attacker was knocked to the ground after one punch from Cody Pines outside Huntington Beach High School.

The clip shows the accused bully bleeding and woozy on the ground. His friends then helped him up as Pines yelled at him for ‘punching a blind kid,’ who appeared to be OK.

Cody Pines

Cody Pines

By all means, take the link to the article and view the short video. The blind boy–who is apparently not entirely blind–is clearly helpless and is merely weakly holding up his arms to try to ward off blows he obviously can’t hope to see or stop.

Pines discussed his actions with the Huntington Beach Independent:

Cody Pines, a 17-year-old junior, said Thursday that he stepped in and knocked the suspect to the ground. He said he has known the visually impaired boy since the sixth grade.

‘I felt like he was getting really hurt and I felt like it was my obligation to go up there and help him,’ Cody said. ‘That was my only reaction, to be honest. I didn’t mean to hurt the [suspect] intentionally, but I just wanted to make sure my friend was OK.

This was, without question, a genuine good deed and an act of courage. For a 17-year old to stop a violent assault on any peer is rare. The social pressure kids feel is strong, and they tend to avoid getting involved. And what did Pines do? He stopped not a fight, but a brutal assault of a helpless boy. He used a single blow to do it, and when that single blow was sufficient, he did nothing more.

To even think that Pines was engaged in fighting exposes the idiocy of zero tolerance thinking, which is ultimately based in the social justice/progressive need for the self-imagined elite to feel morally superior to others and to feel good about themselves. “Fighting is bad. We must make a statement about fighting,” they solemnly intone, but rather than exercising adult discretion and reason, they establish a zero tolerance policy, which to them, makes that “statement,” which relieves them of the need to use adult judgment and be held accountable for their decisions.

There is no question that fighting in a school setting can’t be tolerated and that any fight that amounts to mutual combat must be significantly punished. However, assault is an entirely different matter. It is a brutal, fundamentally criminal act and deserves greater punishment. Any adult unable to tell the difference between mutual combat and an assault has no business making decisions about the actions of others, to say nothing of being in charge of children.

By coming to the aid of his blind friend, Pines was not only acting entirely lawfully, but honorably. For this, he deserves praise. Remove Pines from the football team? Really? And what values do the coaches and school administrators uphold by so doing? What “statement–if Pines were removed from the football team–are they making? Defend the helpless and you’ll pay for it? Help those that can’t help themselves and we’ll make you sorry you did? Act lawfully and properly in the defense of others and we’ll make an example of you, because zero tolerance for fighting?

Pines further demonstrates his character:

Cody said he feels bad for the suspect and believes he should not have been arrested.

‘I don’t think he really deserves that,’ he said. ‘I think he made one big mistake and I think everybody’s already punished him by telling him [he was wrong]. I really don’t want this kid’s life to be ruined.

Forgiveness is a laudable attribute, but it does not preclude consequences for criminal actions. If the attacker is truly sorry, the time for that to come to light is after a trial and prior to sentencing when a judge can consider such potentially mitigating factors. His life will hardly be ruined by a juvenile conviction, which may well be necessary for him to begin to learn how to be a decent, contributing human being.

In cases such as this, additional factors that render things not quite so clear-cut sometimes come to light. At the moment, however, it appears that the bully initially got what was coming to him, though not all. The victim was saved before any real physical damage was done, and kids everywhere got a chance to see what real judgment, responsibility and courage look like.

There is evidence that Pines was not removed from the football team, according to the New York Daily News:

Although an online petition with more than 22,000 signatures claimed Pines was kicked off the football team for stepping in, school spokeswoman Alyssa Griffiths said Pines hadn’t even signed up to play this year after stopping last spring.

‘The Huntington Beach school community is disappointed and discouraged by the recent bullying behavior captured on video at Huntington Beach High School,’ Superintendent Greg Plutko said in a statement. ‘We are proud of our quality high schools, and this incident does not reflect the school climates.

Of course not. the Huntington Beach Schools are modern models of “school climates.” I’d much rather see a statement about the moral imperative of defending the helpless. One would hope Plutko made it clear who was at fault and who did what was right and the media didn’t see fit to publish it.  But it he didn’t, why do so many school administrators have such trouble saying truly adult things like that?

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