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This post is not friends-locked so as to increase the audience for the poll. Feel free to link to this post in your own journal, or to send others the link. In fact, please do.

So, for my Ethics, Legal Issues, and Classroom Management class, one of our biggest projects is an Inquiry Project in which we take a debateable issue and poke around in it. Present both sides, etc. So I'm doing mine on Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools.

A quote from one of the articles I will be using:

"Zero tolerance" is the phrase that describes America's response to student misbehavior. Zero tolerance means that a school will automatically and severely punish a student for a variety of infractions. While zero tolerance began as a Congressional response to students with guns, gun cases are the smallest category of school discipline cases. Indeed, zero tolerance covers the gamut of student misbehavior, from including "threats" in student fiction to giving aspirin to a classmate. Zero tolerance has become a one-size-fits-all solution to all the problems that schools confront. It has redefined students as criminals, with unfortunate consequences.

- American Bar Association

Essentially, there is a set punishment for such things as bringing weapons to school (or even things that look like weapons, such as toy guns) or possessing illegal substances, making threats, attacking a student or member of the faculty or staff, etc., and it does not take into account extenuating circumstances or who it is that committed the infraction. The honor roll student would be given the same punishment for having drugs in his locker as the slacker druggie would.

But what do you think?

Poll #1089439 Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance?

Do you think that schools should have a zero tolerance policy?


Ticky box?



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, this is one that I can't simply answer yes or no to, because the answer is both. I think there are SOME things that schools should have zero tolerance policies on. I don't care if you're a criminal or an honors student or both - if you bring a gun to school, the punishment should be severe. Zero tolerance for aspirin, on the other hand, is more than a little stupid. Basically, I think it's an idea with merit but it needs to be used more carefully.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )