Zero Tolerance And Its Contribution On The School And Prison Pipeline

Better Essays

Zero Tolerance and its Contribution to the School-to-Prison Pipeline
A trend has developed in our society in recent decades. This concerning trend shows that African American youth are finding their way into the criminal justice system at a much higher rate than their peers. This trend starts in schools where students as young as fifth graders are being suspended from school for minor issues. Police officers are being used more and more to handle situations in the schools rather than teachers. Does this kind of discipline really help students of color or does it have the opposite effect? When taken out of school for disciplinary reasons, African American student’s behaviors do not improve but criminal activity is more likely. School …show more content…

The literature agrees that these policies are not helping and are too extreme in response to student’s behaviors. According to Heitzeg (2009), The GFSA mandates that all schools that receive federal funding must 1) have policies to expel for a calendar year any student who brings a firearm to school or to school zone, and 2) report that student to local law enforcement (pp. 8-9).
The zero tolerance policy are too extreme
Zero tolerance started as a way to keep guns out of schools until the staff at school started to use it as a way to report and punish non serious offences (Heitzeg, 2009).
It use to be that only violent students that brought weapons such as guns were kicked out of school but as time went on, it become easy for schools to remove students for minor offences. It is easier to send students home and let their parents deal with them rather than spend valuable time and resources to try to solve the issues at hand. However, the impact of sending them home is that the students are frightened and shamed for just being kids.
According to Bush (2014), an Ohio fifth grader was recently suspended from his elementary school for three days because he pointed his finger “in the shape of a gun” and pulled an imaginary trigger while playing with his friends; the later from the principal to the parents cited his finger as a “level 2 lookalike firearm” (as cited in Wilson,. 2014, p. 50). Such action on the kid’s part is widely accepted in other

Get Access