Zero Tolerance Policies In Schools

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Remove or Revise Zero-tolerance policies are policies that have been adapted in work places, communities, and, most frequently, schools. Depending on how certain schools are run and who they are run by, zero-tolerance policies could be positive and helpful or negative and harmful. Many people wonder are these policies really effective in reducing crime and creating safer environments in schools like lawmakers claim these policies are doing; most of the opponents to zero-tolerance policies believe that the policies are just cruel punishments that add to the problems that already exist in our schools and communities. There are obviously those who feel that the policies do exactly what they say they do; advocates for zero-tolerance policies…show more content…
In the article “The Benefits of Zero Tolerance,” Eric Badertscher and Heather Newton discuss why it is important for schools to use zero-tolerance policies but also become more practical with how the policies are administered. In the article Badertscher and Newton tell a story of a young boy in Loudoun County Public Schools who was suspended because he took a knife from another suicidal kid and put it away in his locker. This “lack of flexibility” proves how case by case punishment could work better for these policies (Badertscher and Newton). The student who was found with a knife had no intentions of harming anyone in the school. In fact he possibly saved the life of a fellow student by taking action and retrieving the weapon. By using a more complex approach such as case by case punishment students get a chance to save themselves from a bad record for situations that could not be avoided. Few would argue that instead of trying to handle the situation himself the student should have went to a teacher or administrator and he deserved his punishment. But the reality is problems like suicide require immediate action; most suicidal students would not go to an adult about those problems. If students have no wish to bring hurt, harm, or danger to those in the school building then a lesser punishment or none at all is the best…show more content…
Brian Wilson and Laura Finley discuss how they believe instead keeping violence out of schools the laws “prevent student learning” (Wilson and Finley). Regarding the purpose of the policies, Wilson and Finley state, “zero-tolerance policies are, in effect, a means of channeling young people into the juvenile justice system.” Some of the policies have nothing to do with the safety of the school such as being a distraction, and disobeying dress code. These types of infractions allows minority students to spend less time in school and more time home; time home allows students to find trouble in gangs and crime. Instead of sending students home for a dress code infraction, administrators could simply have clothing available for students who have these infractions. Russel Skiba states, “the use, and especially the overuse, of disciplinary removal carries with it and inherent risk of racial bias” (4).Advocates believe students who break zero-tolerance rules deserves their cruel punishment because no one made them disobey the rules but themselves. I believe lawmakers added silly rules that harm no one to the criteria of zero-tolerance and have ultimately contributed to the increase of crime. Getting rid of rules that target minority
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