The Importance Of Golerance In The Kalamazoo Public Schools

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There is no doubt that schools need some disciplinary action to maintain school safety and promote learning. Proper discipline ensures the safety of students and teachers, creates conductive learning, and removes troublemakers in order to improve the school climate for others. By 1993 The Kalamazoo Public Schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy out of fear towards punishment. According to Russell Skiba, an American educational psychologist known for researching school discipline and school violence, “this zero-tolerance policy has lead to an substantial increase of expulsions, suspensions, and dropout rates” (Skiba). The National Center of Education Statistics Report that “94% of schools in the US have a zero tolerance for weapons and firearms and 87% have a zero tolerance for alcohol.” (education stats) Kalamazoo Public Schools claims that they implemented the zero tolerance policy to send a message that certain behaviors will not be tolerated no matter how minor. The zero- tolerance policy seems to cause more problems than it solves. According to school suspension rates from Kalamazoo Public Schools, school suspension is not reserved for the severe behaviors. Although school fights and violence are the leading causes for suspension, lesser non-violent crimes (tardiness, cutting class) have the same punishment. The zero-tolerance policy needs to be changed to be more lenient towards less severe crimes. Certain behaviors in schools should have different punishments
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