Zero Tolerance Debate

736 Words3 Pages
Casey Cruz
Miss. Douglass
Speech & Debate/ P.1
December 7, 2015
The Suspension or Expulsion of Self Defense at School
In elementary school I once witnessed a bully pick on a little kid in a library. I stepped in to stop the bully, telling him to go away multiple times, he then pushed me away and pushed the kid against the wall. The bully and I started fighting trying to protect the kid who was being thrown around like a rag doll. It was soon stopped by security and we were both suspended for 3 days. The librarian confirmed the whole story of what happened. After the altercation I was told by the principal what I did was wrong. How is protecting someone from bullying wrong? Many victims are treated the same as bullies and that needs to change.
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The zero tolerance policy has been adopted by many school across the nation but a discussion is starting to take place about whether or not this is a good or helpful policy. A zero tolerance policy by definition is a policy of punishing any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes, ignorance, or extenuating circumstances in schools. Since this policy has been implemented the suspension and expulsion rate at schools has risen drastically. An article on the zero tolerance policy states “Approximately 3.3 million suspensions and over 100,000 expulsions occur each year. This number has nearly doubled since 1974, with rates escalating in the mid 1990s as zero tolerance policies began to be widely…show more content…
A study on this pattern shows that students who drop out of school are eight times more likely to be or have been in the prison system at some point. Studies have shown that “68% of all males in state and federal prison do not have a high school diploma” . These alarming statistics can be connected to the zero tolerance policy.
In Conclusion, clear self defense should not be punishable and should not be addressed with suspension or expulsion. This punishment does not teach anything. The zero tolerance policy has a connection to the increasing number of student being in jail or prison after they have been suspended or expelled. The zero tolerance policy should be eradicated and replaced with talking to counselors accompanied by your parents and should be mandatory for the aggressor, and perhaps a conflict mediation session involving all parties involved in the fight. Staying home does not teach
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