The Zero Tolerance Policies Is Defined As A School Policy That Mandates Uniform Consequences

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Introduction Zero tolerance polices are defined as a school policy that mandates uniform consequences for specific offences. These predetermined punishments do not take into account any mitigating factors including the circumstances, disciplinary history, or the age of the student (Findlay, 2008, p. 112). This definition will be further examined later in this paper and the inherent flaws in the zero tolerance policy approach will be discussed. Zero tolerance policies stem from the notion that schools are seen to be too lenient towards offenders, and in an effort to reduce the incidence of youth crime, schools should be taking a tough on crime approach to discipline. As stipulated by Kajs (2006), there are three functions of discipline in schools: to maintain the safety of the staff and students, to preserve the decorum of the school, and to develop character. Moreover, disciplinary action can be viewed as ‘retributive, preventative, or rehabilitative’. It can thus be argued that zero tolerance polices take a retributive approach to student conduct (Kajs, 2006). Zero tolerance policies arguably have a negative impact on all those involved. This paper seeks to examine the reasoning as to why these policies were developed beginning from the effect of the public, from the governmental perspective, and the school system’s perspective. Additionally, the rationalization behind why these policies have remained in place for so long will be considered in relation to the plethora of
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