We have noted that a professional psychologist has deemed school “zero tolerance” policies to be “psychotic”.

Professor Glenn Reynolds agrees, and projects possible consequences to the American education system unless some sanity returns.

…So is this steady stream of incidents an indication of widespread mental deficiency among America’s K-12 educators? In a word, yes.

It’s already well-established that education majors have the lowest test scores of any college major, but nonetheless tend to graduate with high grades. That certainly suggests a lack of critical faculties. But the constant stream of stories of zero-tolerance stupidity suggests that there’s something more lacking here than just academic smarts: There seems to be a severe deficit of the very sort of critical thinking that the education industry purports to be instilling in kids. One might dismiss any one of these events as an isolated incident, but when you have — as we clearly do — a never ending supply of such incidents, they’re no longer isolated: They’re a pattern.

This is a serious PR problem for the American education establishment, but underlying the bad publicity is a serious substantive problem: When your kids attend schools like these, they are under the thumb of Kafkaesque bureaucrats who see no problem blotting your kid’s permanent record for reasons of bureaucratic convenience or political correctness.

At some point, voluntarily putting your kid in such a situation looks a bit like parental malpractice — especially if your kid is a boy, since boys seem to do worse in today’s nearly-all-female K-12 environment. A private industry that generated this much bad publicity would be in trouble already.

With home schooling and online school becoming steadily more popular, the education establishment needs to worry that parents will be taking their business elsewhere. And it’s not just the loss of pupils that matters: If too many taxpaying parents abandon the public schools, taxpayer support will evaporate. Why, people will ask, are we paying for public schools when everyone with any sense is paying (again) to send their kids elsewhere?

Will school officials worry enough about this possibility to change their behavior before it’s too late? I don’t know, but I kind of doubt it — they don’t seem to be especially bright, now, do they?