Putting an End to School Violence – Is Zero Tolerance the Solution?

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Putting an End to School Violence – Is a Zero Tolerance Policy the Solution? There are very few people today who are unaware of the violence in schools. As college students we live in a world that is desperate to find prevention methods against violence. That makes this issue important to today's college students, considering the fact that we are the generation that could have been involved and directly effected by a school shooting like Columbine. Is this how we want our school systems to be when our children enroll? A school is defined as "an institution for teaching and learning". However, today's educational institutions include punishment, violence, and misbehavior. When we find ourselves glued to the television because of another school shooting, obviously something needs to be done about violence in schools. Unfortunately, the solution causes creates more problems. Schools around the world have recently adopted revolutionary solution and prevention methods. The controversy over school violence prevention is not "yes we should or, "no we shouldn't", because you will probably be hard pressed to find someone who thinks we shouldn't get involved. The debate lies in the method we use to prevent and solve school violence. The zero tolerance policy is one suggestion to implement punishment in schools. The zero tolerance policy is strict and devises rules for students and faculty alike. It is a policy that doesn't ask questions when a rule is broken which often results in suspension and expulsion. The policy also addresses the possession of weapons, drugs, and alcohol. Many schools have adopted this policy and have observed both positive and negative results. If the zero tolerance program is installed in the educational system, schools must decide when and how it should be enforced. This is a very complex issue and when open to debate you see three approaches to it. First, advocates of zero tolerance policies concentrate on positive changes in school security, ways of punishment, and change in student behavior. Those who oppose the policies argue that zero tolerance should be eliminated due to its lack of rationale and logic. Finally, the opposing viewpoint criticizes the zero tolerance policy for being too extreme and inappropriate for schools. The first group, those who favor the policy, dwell on school improvement due to zero tolerance. One positive change is reinstated safety in schools giving students, parents, teachers, and the community a breath of relief. Advocates of this positive change believe that schools should be a place of learning without safety concerns.

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