Share Shares Since the s, schools have been implanting zero-tolerance policies concerning a variety of behaviors.
Under zero tolerance, students who break certain school rules face mandatory penalties, including suspension and referral to law enforcement.
The approach gained popularity during the s, and by the mids, most school districts in the United States had adopted some form of zero tolerance.
But at the end ofRandi Weingarten wrote an editorial in American Educator saying those policies had been a failure. Zero-tolerance policies were supposed to make schools safer and make discipline fair. But in practice, the policies "didn't help us get to the safe and welcoming school environments that every parent wants for his or her child," Weingarten said.
Across the country, schools are moving away from zero tolerance and trying to reduce the number of students they're suspending.
The turnaround is a response to a growing body of research showing that zero-tolerance policies resulted in a disproportionate number of kids of color suspended, expelled, and referred to law enforcement. School suspension rates, Black and Latino students tend to get suspended from school more often than white or Asian students.
In the school year, for example, Inthe federal Departments of Education and Justice issued a letter to state education commissioners warning that districts continuing to have a pattern of disproportional discipline risk a federal civil rights action.
Already, a number of districts around the country are facing complaints or have entered into settlements with the DOE's Office of Civil Rights.
Many districts are struggling to figure out how to reduce suspensions and still maintain order in classrooms. In some places, teachers have been frustrated by new discipline policies that they say don't allow them to suspend students in many cases, but don't offer them other options for dealing with disruptive students.
Weingarten said changes in discipline policies need to be accompanied by training and support for teachers.
Some school districts are finding some success in reducing racial gaps in discipline and maintaining order by taking different approaches to discipline, such as restorative justice.
In DenverTim Turley teaches teachers how to use restorative practices rather than removing kids from the classroom. He said he often meets with skepticism from teachers in his workshops. He reminds them that suspension is a temporary solution. They can remove a student, but "they always come back," Turley said.
Turley said suspension is a hollow threat for most kids.
Recent studies show that suspension is ineffective at changing students' behavior and has serious long-term repercussions. But, secondly, the longer you've been put out the more discouraged you become. Students who are suspended are also more likely to wind up in the juvenile corrections system.
Connection between suspensions and graduation Students who have been suspended graduate from high school at lower rates. Graduation rates for students never suspended exceed 80 percent for white, black and Latino students.
But for black and Latino students, the rate drops to less than 60 percent among those who were suspended at least once. Data is taken from National Longitudinal Survey.
Originally published in the book Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion published by Teachers College Press in "School disengagement is one of the strongest correlates of juvenile delinquency," said Russell Skiba, professor of counseling and educational psychology at Indiana University.
Skiba said it's not just that kids who were headed for juvenile detention happen to get suspended on the way. It's that suspension itself appears to contribute to later trouble with the law.
Take similar kids at similar schools who commit similar offenses. Suspend some but not others.A zero-tolerance policy in schools is a strict enforcement of regulations and bans against undesirable behaviors or possession of items. Public criticism against such policies have arisen due to their enforcement and the resulting (sometimes devastating).
The school field trip has a long history in American public education. For decades, students have piled into yellow buses to visit a variety of cultural institutions, including art, natural history, and science museums, as well as theaters, zoos, and historical sites. The Case Against Zero Tolerance in Schools How teachers can use empathy to cut down on suspensions.
Posted Dec 31, While student discipline problems have plagued schools for years, many lawyers say zero tolerance-like policies at schools have outlived their usefulness and may in fact be doing more harm than good. I read this book for a presentation in my "Foundations of Teaching" class.
It is a great source of information on the issue of Zero Tolerance and the negative effects it has on both students and faculty/administration of the schools.
The ACLU is committed to challenging the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse, or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services.