A zero-tolerance policy in schools is a policy of punishing any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes, ignorance, or extenuating circumstances. In schools, common zero-tolerance policies concern possession or use of illicit drugs or weapons. Students, and sometimes staff, parents, and other visitors, who possess a banned item for any reason are always (if the policy is followed) to be punished.

In the United States and Canada, zero-tolerance policies have been adopted in various schools and other education venues. Zero-tolerance policies in the United States became widespread in 1994, after federal legislation required states to expel any student who brought a firearm to school for one year, or lose all federal funding. More: en.wikipedia.org.

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100
3 votes
Jul 29, 2015

No. Small children should not be suspended for taking a Hello Kitty bubble gun to school or a key chain with a charm of a cowboy pistol on it. One boy was suspended for the way his pop tart was chewed which resembled the shape of a gun or another girl who tore the corner of a piece of paper off and it slightly resembled a gun if that's what you were thinking about. A father of a 5 year old was arrested when the boy drew a picture of his father with a gun. The father would pretend to shoot the monsters under his bed. Another boy was suspended with a permanent record of racism when he commented a visitor to the school looked like Obama, which he really did look like Obama. I mean, this is more like an episode of the Twilight Zone than the United States of America.

Also some schools have called in police for a boy wearing a NRA tee shirt, others for wearing shirts with American flags on them. This just makes a mockery of our law enforcement and takes away free speech from the students. What ever happened to common sense?

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100
2 votes
Jul 29, 2015

No for the most part. To me its a no brainer way of administrating that can actually cause more problems than solve them. Take for example the no gun rule where a child was suspended for bringing in a tiny plastic toy soldier. This certainly didn't really teach the child anything and only riled the parents and others against the school, not to mention the negative publicity. Teachers should use the hesitation rule. If a child pulls out something from his/her backpack that at first glance could be a weapon, then appropriate steps should be taken. If it is immediately obvious that it is only a toy or such, then forget about it.

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100
2 votes
Jul 29, 2015

zero tolerance is just a bad idea, all it really does is makes it easy on those that should decide so a thug in school pushes a kid into a corner and starts beating on him, if the kid does nothing but bleed he's not in trouble but the thug is, of course the kid is in the hospital but he did nothing wrong but if the kid fights back at all to defend himself he's wrong for not wanting to be hurt or worse he is considered just as bad as his attacker in real life this does not work so why would we teach kid to be victims

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50
2 votes
Jul 29, 2015

While I do not support these policies, I absolutely understand why they are used. It can be very difficult to tell how a situation began ("I don't know who started this fight..." etc) so it is easiest to not tolerate any fighting/drugs/whatever. Unfortunately schools often don't have the resources to properly deal with such problems, and are forced to take the easier and not as good but still fairly effective policies.

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33
main reply
3 votes,
Jul 29, 2015

My friend. I started fighting in 4th grade and never stopped. It kept me alive and let me live a good life. You can't teach life, either live it or hide.Oh, and leave me alone. That is not an order. just a preference. So your right. Do what you can and teach peace by example and calm thoughtful talking. Just never let the government do it. That is not there purpose. Police have very good people that make a difference. They can do more [the good ones] than most teachers.

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0
0 votes,
Jul 29, 2015

Could you please explain why you don't want the government to encourage peaceful and calm discussions over fighting?

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50
2 votes,
Jul 29, 2015

Yes. The government is not qualified or capable of understanding the different causes of human behavior. Yes, I just said they are stupid. They don't care. It is the family and community that does. Please don't tell me what I just said. It's too complicated for you to understand. That's a theory, not a fact.

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0
User voted No.
0 votes,
Feb 4, 2016

No one understands the "different causes of human behavior". Not government, not me, not you, not psychologists, not sociologists.

We'd like to pretend that every parent is competent. They are not. I agree that we should be VERY hesitant about schools teaching values, implicitly or explicitly, but a school that does not prepare a child to know that in the adult world you cannot indiscriminately hit people without serious reprisal is failing that child.

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0
0 votes,
Jul 29, 2015

I agree that the government is by far not the best qualified to teach empathy, and frequently makes bad decisions.

I don't see why you would ever argue *against* someone trying to help people help each other.

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0
User voted No.
main reply
0 votes,
Feb 4, 2016

The difficulty of justice is no excuse to not seek it. Increasing school resources instead would be more appropriate.

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0
User voted No.
0 votes
Feb 4, 2016

No.

Zero tolerance policies for anything are idiotic. They give power to accusers and those who administer punishments while taking away power from everyone else. They make accusations an all-or-nothing thing. Too many kids are going to get away with small infractions because there are no reasonable punishments for them.

It is our instinct to try to make sure that people get justice because it slakes our anger. But when we treat all infractions as being the same, or even if we punish all infractions very harshly, it not only takes away mercy and moderation but it also is a miscarriage of justice even for the victims. The person whose child was stabbed by a sadistic gang member is actually insulted and demeaned by seeing a kid who brought marijuana to school to manage his anxiety be punished even in a remotely similar way.

Justice has to be properly calibrated. Zero tolerance policies are like removing gears from a car: Inherently pointless.

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