Zero Tolerance Policy of Education in America

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Zero Tolerance Policy of Education in America In Bedford, Texas, a 16-year-old honor student was expelled after a security guard noticed a kitchen knife on the floor of the student's car. The knife apparently had fallen unnoticed as the student carted some of his grandmother's possessions to Goodwill. He was ordered to spend a year in a juvenile-justice education program and banished from district property and school-sponsored activities. [...] In Deer Lakes, Pennsylvania, a kindergarten student was suspended for bringing a toy axe to school. He was dressed as a firefighter for Halloween. [...] In Thornton, Colorado, a fifth-grade girl was arrested for sexual harassment after repeatedly asking a classmate if he liked her. (Starr 2) Zero tolerance is a policy concerning issues in today's society that are thought to be extremely dangerous. The three main focuses of the policy are incidences of violence, drugs, and alcohol. Zero tolerance treats children as if they were adults, and removes the "innocent until proven guilty" philosophy on which our country thrives. This policy could be extremely harmful to the lives of the students it affects and, "[...] disrupts the lives and educations of good students nearly as often as it does those of troubled students." This happens by treating all offenses dealing with the aforementioned issues and all students equally, even if the student has had a flawless record and had obviously no harmful intent (Starr 1). Before the zero tolerance idea came about, the school system treated discipline in a completely diffe... ... middle of paper ... ... that handing out candy is similar to distributing heroin laced with rat poison is relaying the message that the real, hard drugs are not that bad. Also, calling the use of vernacular "racism" is implying that people that truly do suffer from racial issues are actually complaining about nothing really important. Finally, this tells people that that are not involved in these issues at all that these things are actually just trivial, and they do not have anything to worry about (Cassingham 3). Zero tolerance policies must be stopped because they are simply not benefiting children in any way. These policies are providing the illusion that schools are dealing with trouble youth, when in fact they are simply attempting to shove it outside and lock the door. The problem is, these policies are locking the children out, too.

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