School administrators have increasingly implemented zero tolerance policies in the last few decades. These policies are designed to maintain order and safety in educational settings. This article will define zero tolerance policies, and explore whether or not they are still in use in the modern school system.
Definition of Zero Tolerance Policies
Zero tolerance policies are a form of discipline that represents an inflexible response to particular behaviors. These policies often use exclusionary punishments for rule breaking, such as suspension or expulsion. In certain cases, zero tolerance policies have been implemented for violent actions, such as carrying weapons on school grounds, or bringing drugs or alcohol to school.
Zero tolerance policies also frequently punish non-violent behaviors such as defiance, verbal abuse, or other disruptive behaviors. These policies deem such behaviors inappropriate, and justification that they are necessary to maintain safety and order on school grounds.
Zero tolerance policies are sometimes subject to criticism, as they have been accused of not taking into appropriate account the individual circumstances of an incident. Critics also point to the fact that zero tolerance policies can lead to punishments that are disproportionate to the infraction, or that do not take into account the positive behaviors of a student.
Do Schools Still Have Them?
Zero tolerance policies still remain a part of the school discipline system for many schools across the country. However, many schools are now opting for a more flexible approach. This approach usually involves more comprehensive disciplinary actions that are tailored to the individual incident.
In addition, rather than using exclusionary punishments, such as suspension or expulsion, schools are increasingly using restorative justice practices. This involves meaningful dialogue between the student and other involved parties, as well as measures that promote rehabilitation over punishment.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual school to decide which approach to school discipline they wish to use. For many schools, zero tolerance policies remain an important part of the disciplinary framework. However, it is clear that more progressive approaches to school discipline are becoming increasingly popular.
In conclusion, zero tolerance policies are still in place in many schools, but are increasingly being replaced by more progressive approaches to discipline. For some schools, zero tolerance policies remain an effective way to maintain order and safety on school grounds. However, more and more schools are opting for alternatives that focus on rehabilitation and meaningful dialogue between all parties involved.