Following the passing of the Gun-free Schools Act of 1994 by the Clinton Administration, the Zero-tolerance policy spread rapidly throughout school systems. Congress placed the law with the objective to address school violence, leading to the requirement that schools institute a zero tolerance policy for students and the enforcement of a minimum one year of expulsion to students who bring a firearm on school premises. Additionally, the law stated that a school’s failure to abide by the newly implemented regulations would result in the loss of federal funds that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provide. Moreover, the law does not require school administrators to provide access to continued education through alternative schooling for ex...
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...e counselors and social work staff members in schools. Research related to SROs and the New York school system has shown that students as young as seven years old age are being handcuffed for being in an emotional crisis, and regarded as a classroom disruption (School-to Prison, 2016).
Students are being conditioned for life in prison, as any infraction can lead to suspensions or expulsion. A school is supposed to be a welcoming environment which encourages learning and collaboration; yet students are met with metal detectors and a strong police presence as they walk into their schools. The Zero-tolerance policy has cultivated an atmosphere within schools which is not supportive of students’ needs, criminalizes, as well as, dehumanizes our young students. Students who are not deemed “good kids” are fueled out of the school system through suspension and expulsion.
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