School Law

2338 Words Nov 16th, 2014 10 Pages
| Zero Tolerance for Ineffective Zero Tolerance Policies | Can Zero Tolerance be Tolerated? | | Terrance Baker | LAWS310 | 12/14/2009 |

Students are being handcuffed, arrested and expelled for possession of a butter knife or water gun, punishment that disproportionately targets African-American students, students being alienated and never returning to school after being suspended or expelled are all byproducts of the zero tolerance policies adopted by their school district. School administrators have abandoned common sense due to their adherence to zero tolerance policies by applying the same discipline to students that are guilty of minor offenses and non-violent rules violations, or just poor judgment as they due to
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From the beginning, the zero tolerance policies have been reactionary policies to problems that have other root causes that cannot be solved by criminalizing every action that falls outside of the law, and by mandating punishment for all school violations regardless of the situation or circumstance, schools systems have created larger educational problems than they have solved in their reaction to some very unfortunate school shootings.
One of the problems that have been created by the implementation of the zero tolerance policies is the elimination of common sense when determining punishment for non-threatening and non-violent offenses. Administrators have stopped considering the intent of an action or the circumstances of the event. The Lindsay Brown case is a good example of how school administrators have stopped utilizing common sense when a violation has occurred. Lindsey Brown was a high school student that was in the process of moving and had several boxes in her car from the move when she went to school the next day. One of the boxes containing some kitchen items fell over in her car while she was driving; Lindsey parked her car and went to class. The school security officer noticed a knife on the floor of Lindsey’s car while she was in class.
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