Zero Tolerance Policies Are An Issue Widely Debated Today, It

1361 words - 5 pages

Zero tolerance policies are an issue widely debated today, it seems like neither side is breaking away from the pack. Zero tolerance policies institute no case-by-case evaluations, but they stipulate that there is only one final solution for any number of problems. The zero tolerance policies were instituted to eliminate any discretion between cases. They were also put in place to scare students into obeying the rules before they break them.These policies have had much success, while they have also created several incidents that could have been avoided using other methods of punishment. There are many people who will argue for and against the zero tolerance policies. There are some will speak of the value they have, yet not support them for the backlashes they have caused. Zero tolerance policies and as defined by schools do not allow for any negotiation when it comes to carrying weapons on school campus. These zero tolerance policies and the lack of trust for the students lead some to believe that our next generation will become victim to scrutiny that is not deserved. Zero tolerance policies in regards to weapons have been instituted in order to eliminate interpretation of what a weapon is. The reason zero tolerance policies have been implemented for weapons is due to the multiple widely publicized incidents where 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 commit only minor infractions. Being safe at school is a concern that many school districts face. These districts have tried many different policies in order to eliminate weapons and promote safety at school. Students who write threatening letters or e-mails are subject to the same zero tolerance policies as a kid who brings a loaded handgun to school. Many good resolutions have come from the policies, students are now safer, and crime in schools is lower than it was just a few years ago.Proponents of zero tolerance policies for weapons believe that these policies have saved many lives, and that any backlashes that may have occurred are worth the lives of those saved. Some will agree with the effectiveness of these policies yet they are horrified by these same backlashes. Several students have been expelled for carrying plastic knives in their lunches that are for cutting fruit. There have been incidents where students have also been expelled for making guns with their hands and playing cops and robbers during physical education. Justifying the punishment of the students who have not, and do not intend to commit an active violence is something the schools passed on to the...

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