Zero Tolerance In Schools Essay

1091 words - 4 pages

Contemporary Issue Paper
Zero tolerance has become the latest contemporary educational issue for the Christian school leader. Zero tolerance policies mandate predetermined consequences for specific offenses. According to a government study, more than three quarters of all U.S. schools reported having zero tolerance policies (Holloway, 2002). Systematic guidelines of enforcing zero tolerance require educational leaders to impose a predetermined punishment, regardless of individual culpability or extenuating circumstances (Gorman & Pauken, 2003). Ethical decision making and the opportunity to apply Biblical principles have taken a back seat to reactive discipline by school leaders. Societal expectations have forced proactive educational leaders to become impulsive decision makers.
Legal Expectations
Zero tolerance is a policy that mandates predetermined and severe consequences for specific offenses in an attempt to consider all offenders equally (Fries & DeMitchell, 2007). Zero tolerance began as a Congressional initiative to control drugs, weapons, and violent behavior in the early 1980s and was well known across the country by 1988. It can be traced to the federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994. The Gun Free Schools Act of 1994 requires states to have in effect a law mandating schools to suspend students for possessing a weapon on school grounds. Students violating this act are suspended for one school year and enter the juvenile justice system (Stader, 2004). The Gun Free Schools Act permits school superintendents to modify the expulsion requirement on a case by case basis allowing states to enact their own statutes. The zero tolerance policies in most states include the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, as well as gang activity, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and even habitual profanity (Henault, 2001).
Societal Expectations
Educational leaders have to deal with real issues of violence in schools. School violence has become of the most pressing educational problems in the United States. Gang violence and high profile shootings across the nation cause concern within schools. Communities struggle to understand why these events take place and how they can be prevented. The overwhelming response to solve the issue of violence in schools is the increasing societal pressure to execute zero tolerance. Zero tolerance is driven by the educational philosophy, policies, and practices of school communities. Stakeholders expect schools to be a safe place for staff and for students. Stakeholders assume that a positive classroom environment, safe students, and school enjoyment are conditions necessary to create a positive climate where learning takes place. This assumption can be backed with research. A calm classroom environment, teachers’ management of disruptive behavior, and students’ view of school safety are factors that have been found to directly correlate with student achievement in the classroom (Ma & Willms, 2004). Safety and a feeling...

Find Another Essay On Zero Tolerance in Schools

Zero Tolerance Essay

1424 words - 6 pages common in the era of zero tolerance policies within schools. Unfortunately, these harsh disciplinary policies are ineffective and create a school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects minority students and students with disabilities. The concept of zero tolerance, where individuals are punished regardless of the severity of their offense, surfaced in the 1980s in an attempt to curb increasing violent incidents related to gangs and

Bullying: A Problem Legislation Cannot Solve

1228 words - 5 pages their nationwide implementation and the detriment they have been to students and schools for decades. As defined by the American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force in their article “Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in Schools” a zero tolerance policy is “…a philosophy or policy that mandates the application of predetermined consequences, most often severe and punitive in nature, that are intended to be applied regardless of

Zero tolerance policies

921 words - 4 pages Zero tolerance policies, dating back to the mid-1990’s originally targeted issues such as drugs and weapons. Over time, schools have broadened their list of conflicts, punishing more children. These policies in public schools enforce punishment in the form of expulsion or suspension on students in response to certain rule violations. The goal of these policies is to promote the safety of all students and staff, therefore if rules are broken

To Discipline or Not Discipline

791 words - 4 pages School policies continue to change with the times as decreed by the government. Sometimes the change is beneficial for all and not just a few students. Associate professor and director of at University of New Hampshire School of Law, Leah A. Plunkett in her web article, “Punishing Students for Gadget Use Will Make Their Tech Etiquette Worse,” defends the presidential administration policy to drop the “zero tolerance” policy in schools. (1

Resortive Justice to Discipline Students

1971 words - 8 pages reports that show that punishments are off the scale (Skiba). News reports document reports of students bringing knives to cut chicken in a lunch box, pointing a drawn gun at another student and the always present issue of weapon-like props as parts of Halloween costumes. These students have suffered expulsion and suspension for these seemingly harmless actions. The use of zero-tolerance has become increasingly popular in schools all over the country

The Impact of Zero Tolerance Policies

1513 words - 7 pages The zero tolerance policies that date back to the mid-1990’s originally targeted issues such as drugs and weapons. Over time, schools have broadened their list of punishable offenses, creating more disciplinary issues. These policies in public schools enforce punishment, in the form of expulsion or suspension, on students in response to certain rule violations. The goal of these policies is to promote the safety of all students and staff. If

Zero Tolerance

983 words - 4 pages in expulsion (2014). While the zero-tolerance polices were originally welcomed by all members of a community as a means of promoting and keeping a safer environment-- as of late many individuals are questioning the relevance of some actions and some school officials (2014). What originally set out to be a policy deemed to create a safer environment in our schools has communities now taking part in what many would consider extreme behaviors? In

No Child Left Behind Is A Pipeline To Prison

1025 words - 4 pages failing schools and more importantly failing children. The NCLB and its unfunded mandates have pushed already struggling school systems to their breaking points and caused many children to be forced into alternative settings such as the juvenile justice system and alternative schools which are grooming them for adult prisons, thus no child left behind is a pipeline to prison.The NCLB initiative has in effect inadvertently caused a "zero tolerance

No Tolerance

1311 words - 5 pages Communities. The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence & Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1-57. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from State Guns in Schools. (2012, January 3). Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence RSS. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from Zero Tolerance. (2013, October 19). Wikipedia. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from

Research on School Policies and Its Conne ction to the Juvenil Courts

637 words - 3 pages The article reviewed serves as a compliment to the research on school policies and its connection to the juvenile court, and how the school-to-prison pipeline has been created. The research article is “Education or Incarceration: Zero Tolerance Policies and the School to Prison Pipeline”. The theme focuses on the flourishing trend in public schools across America that criminalizes students’ minor disciplinary issues as a part of the emerging

The Harm of Zero Tolerance

939 words - 4 pages acts. Their solution was passed in 1994 as an amendment to the Improving America's Schools Act of 1965, which mandated zero tolerance gun policies with a one year expulsion for offending students. As these policies rolled out opposition rose about how unfair and harmful these new rules were to children. Because of a lack of effectiveness, and the emotional harm that they cause it is clear that these policies must be torn apart and rebuilt upon a

Similar Essays

Zero Tolerance Policies In American Schools

1172 words - 5 pages abuse education, intervention for students who are using drugs, and restorative consequences instead of suspension or expulsion. (Skager 6). These sorts of policies actually help students instead of punishing them, which is a great benefit to all students, schools, and communities. Zero tolerance policies can cause students to lose respect for teachers and all adults, and make them more likely to continue to use drugs and be involved in

Schools Should Eliminate The Use Of Zero Tolerance Policies

957 words - 4 pages reasons for this; most of these explanations do not place the blame squarely on the schools themselves. Public schools are responsible for one thing, however, and that is the manner in which they react to the changes that take place. Prompted by increased discipline problems within school halls, many districts have adopted zero-tolerance policies toward certain problems, including drugs and violence. When considering current events such as

This Is A Short Essay Discussing The Concept Of Zero Tolerance In High School

2780 words - 11 pages . These are all major distractions for the students that are trying to receive an education. Zero tolerance policy attempts eliminate these distractions by temporarily or permanently removing the other students that are causing or possessing one or many of these distractions. '"Could it be argued, however, that despite the negative consequences for those students who cause trouble in schools, zero tolerance policies ultimately rid schools of those

Zero Tolerance Policies Are An Issue Widely Debated Today, It

1361 words - 5 pages students, who have weapons, have wounded or killed others on campus, or school related events. These policies have come about to prevent crime in schools, raise test scores, and also they have been implemented so that the school district may receive federal grants they otherwise would not have received without these policies. School districts may also use these zero tolerance policies against weapons, to re-segregate schools by expelling students who