Zero Tolerance Policies In Schools

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The disciplinary practices currently used in our school systems present a major issue on the quality of education in this country. Our education system should strive to implement disciplinary policies that foster a safe and supportive environment for every learner. Unfortunately the current zero tolerance policies have led to widespread disciplinary actions of school exclusion, which have not only been proven to be ineffective , but also have been correlated with increased negative academic and social consequences, especially for those of disadvantaged populations (Skiba & Losen, 2016). This paper will demonstrate the evidence showing the negative effects of the zero tolerance philosophy and suggest a new approach that social workers in the education field can implement to create a more inclusive environment for children from every population. The Problem
Following the implementation of similar policies in state and federal drug legislation, zero tolerance policies were introduced into school
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Even after controlling for poverty, black students, followed by Native American and Latinos students, exhibit the highest rates of exclusion actions (Skiba & Losen, 2016). Studies show that black students are disciplined more frequently for minor violations and more harshly over all when compared to white students disciplined for the same infractions. Other minority groups have also been shown to have an increased risk of school exclusion. Disabled students are nearly twice as likely to face school expulsion compared to students without disabilities and students of the LGBT community have also been evidenced to have higher rates of expulsion. This evidences shows that the negative outcomes of school exclusion most strongly effect the minority populations already at risk for discrimination and exclusion. Another approach must be found to create a more inclusive educational
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