Tougher School Safe And Free Of Disruptions From Learning

2356 WordsDec 9, 201410 Pages
Disciplinary actions are meant to keep schools safe and free of disruptions from learning. However, schools have adopted harsh zero tolerance policies that result in high numbers of out of school suspensions, expulsions and arrests. A zero tolerance policy is a policy of penalties and punishments for behavioral or code of conduct infractions. The numbers are much greater for Black students. Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than White students. On average, 16% of Black students are suspended, compared to 5% of White students (Advancement Project, 2010). This paper will seeks to examine how these harsh disciplinary practices under zero tolerance policies in schools are funneling Black students into the…show more content…
Therefore, this issue is the result of the non-discretionary, vagueness, and unjust implementation of these policies. It has been found that many zero tolerance policies fail to clearly distinguish between serious and trivial policy violations (Heitzeg, 2009). For example, many zero tolerance polices do not define “dangerous weapon”, but require expulsion or police involvement. This lack of clarity has allowed for expulsion or arrest of students with scissors, nail clippers, and paper clips (Heitzeg, 2009). This makes it difficult for students to know exactly what is prohibited. This also allows teachers to get rid of students under their own discretion with these polices as their back up. Studies show that black students face harsher discipline in public schools than other races. Under zero tolerance policies, disciplinary actions such as suspensions and expulsions have pushed Black students out school (Advancement Project, 2010). Researchers have found that out of school suspensions are the primary predictor of whether a student will drop out before graduation. Suspensions lead students to be generally more disengaged from their academics and likely to repeat the cycle of suspension (Advancement Project, 2010). Since there are major racial disparities when it comes to discipline, for many Black students, suspensions and expulsions are the first step to incarceration.
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